Preserving natural beauty: A weekender by React Architects
Connected to the land, React Architects have preserved the natural beauty of this Greek island property.
15 January, 2018
‘Hug House’ by React Architects
Located on a rocky site on the island of Paros overlooking Naoussa Bay, ‘Hug House’ designed by React Architects was conceived out of an idea to leave a minimal footprint on the horizon.
The 11,000 sqm property in the Agios Ioannis Detis area is orientated towards the uninterrupted view of the sea. With a desire to maximise the location and respect the beauty of the island landscape, architects Natasha Deliyianni and Yiorgos Spiridonos created two houses enveloped by a natural stone wall. A shared courtyard and a tranquil swimming pool with entertaining amenities are positioned between the two rendered white, single-storey dwellings.
As the site is relatively exposed, the architecture has been designed to settle into the land’s natural topography. By building into the site, just the tops of the white exterior walls are visible. The stone, in similar colour tones to the natural terrain, has become camouflaged into the site and minimises the visual impact of the dwellings’ crisp white finish.
The entrance to the dwellings is located at the highest point of the site. A wide, staired pathway that is positioned between the stone walls descends down into the courtyard allowing one to appreciate the texture, tonal variation and solidity of the walls up close while feeling a sense of protection. Once arrived, a series of private and open spaces intertwine around the two rendered dwellings.
Beyond privacy, the position of the ‘Hug House’ and the enveloped stone wall, also protects the inhabitants from the harsh northern winds. Carefully curated apertures puncture the stone wall to frame select views of the landscape and continues the connection between the residence, the site and the views beyond.
This project balances the needs of modern living and a desire for a contemporary aesthetic while respecting the natural beauty of the landscape. Through natural stone, React Architects have created a modernist building that respects the traditional style of Cycladic architecture and the island environment.
Photography: George Messaritakis.