"Turning into your road you are surrounded by trees. You smell the soil as the sun comes out. From a distance you see a glinting green hill with various houses. Not a single house looks like one another but they all exude something familiar (uniformity - variety) . As you approach you realize that those glints that you glimpsed from afar are windows and it seems as if the hill hides a secret inside. Suddenly you are overwhelmed by a desire to discover what lies at the heart of this man-made landscape. You find yourself in a place semi protected from the elements, full of light, warmth and peace. To your right there is a swimming pool but not of the linear type but part of a recurring spatial curve. To your left you can see through a glass wall into a snug living space with softly curved fabric surfaces which define it. Before you, stands the main entrance, you enter. You realize that these drapes are a flexible way of separating the living room from the kitchen and the dining room (simplicity). Behind them there is an intimate vertical garden with a hidden secret passage. In the middle of the space you look up with awe at the serpentine upward path (quantity). Going up you meet another level that opens into a mezzanine, stretching around the perimeter and giving the feeling that it is an extension of the living space. There is diffuse light from above and the whole space seems to be dancing in the sunlight. Your senses are stimulated while you continue following the curves. As you climb you realize that the houses you saw are the rooms of the house (fitness). There is one for the children and the master-bedroom. In reality, they are close to each other but from afar they look remote. Entering the master bedroom you find yourself in a completely different space which is rectangular and more recognizable than downstairs (distinctness). This is where you appreciate the beauty of the familiar. You can enjoy the view of the lake from its big veranda. As you move from the master bedroom into the workplace with elevated views to the west, you realize that it can be completely independent from the rest of the house. You go back to the corridor. You look upwards the sky. You feel good as you look at the place from high above. You wonder what is in the other houserooms. You want to go downstairs fast to see what is hiding in the secret passage (intricacy). You open the door and feel the chill again, you feel as if something pulls you outside on the imposing landscape."
Novel house stands like an contemporary castle archetype, while at the same time it becomes a small intimate village. The public living space is interwoven within the context landscape as it becomes the root that nurtures its branches, the private houserooms. Within it a symbolic golden spiral is naturally introduced, and controls circulation as well as natural lighting, plantation and the location-orientation of houserooms. Everything seems to start from the centre creating the illusion of endless subtle rotation.
Could that be your beautiful house?
References: Hogarth, William, 1753, "The Analysis of Beauty"
FACTS & CREDITS:
Principal Architect: Kirki Mariolopoulou
Design Team: Chryssa Pitsidianaki
Location: London, Green Belt