Tower-house I by SOUTH architects, interprets the form of dwelling, widely found throughout the outer Mani, southern Greece; a combination of defense tower and farmhouse. This was articulated by a monolithic, stone structure with few openings, so as to protect dwellers from extensive heat as well as piracy. The surrounding landscape is characterized by dry stone retaining walls transforming a steep topography into a series of arable plateaus; these long walls were the most prominent man-made intervention in this harsh landscape for centuries.
The new tower-house contemplates exactly this; a mass among existing preserved retaining walls and a few new concrete ones.
There are no seams at the white, stucco facades, only the dark frames of the apertures. No elements project from the main volume, except a steel frame in front of the main view, accommodating temporary screens.
The interior of the box, articulated by the double-height living room and the shallow dining room emphasizes the idea of Mani topography; infinite view of the sea at living area and close vicinity of the olive orchard at dining area and the kitchen. The interior embraces a protected and quiet-zone area at the second floor, the very core of the dwelling.
The program also addresses a typical, Greek, cultural issue; the need for flexibility of space due to future family growth. Thus, the house is designed to potentially become a double-dwelling in the future.
Facts & Credits:
Project Title: Tower-house I
Project Status: completed
Program: single residence
Location: Mani, Greece
Architects: SOUTH, Chrysostomos Theodoropoulos, Eleni Livani (architects) Konstantinos Iliopoulos (structural engineer) George Tsairis (construction)
Photography: Erieta Attali
Completion Year: 2012
Distinctions : [1st Prize] “Best First Building of a Young Architect” DOMES International Architecture Review (jurors: B.Tschumi_Bernard Tschumi Architects, P.Ciorra_MAXI Museum, R.Sakellaridou_SPARCH) 2012, [SHORTLISTED] MEA Mediterranean Sustainable Architecture Awards 2013 International Design Competition (jurors: A.Ghaneimeh, G.Akin, P.Tournikiotis, A.Zammit, A.Ortiz), [SHORTLISTED] Architecture Awards 2012 Hellenic Architecture Institute EIA 2012, [HONORABLE MENTION] Architects<40 SADAS Greek Architects Association 2014
SOUTH is an Athens-based architecture practice, established by Eleni Livanis & Chrysostomos Theodoropoulos. Our work integrates architecture, interiors, restoration, conservation and building technology.
Eleni Livanis studied architecture and did a MPhil in Design, Space, Culture (2007) both at the National Technical University Athens. She has practiced architecture in Athens and New York City, working mainly on retail and residential projects.
Chrysostomos Theodoropoulos studied architecture and did a M.Sc. in Historic Preservation both at the National Technical University Athens, followed by further studies at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University. He has practiced architecture in Athens and New York City. He has also collaborated with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the National Kapodistrian University of Athens. He is currently teaching a Design Studio at the Department of Architecture at University of Thessaly, and a Building Technology Studio at the University of Patras.