Located in an olive grove in southern Peloponnese, this summer residence is characterized by an Ypsilon shaped green roof that acts as both an accessible extension of the terrain, while framing the most significant views from the inside out. Villa Ypsilon was designed by London and Brussels based architects Theo Sarantoglou Lalis and Dora Sweijd from LASSA architects.
The roof’s bifurcating pathways define three courtyards that form distinct hemispheres with specific occupancy depending on the course of the sun. Villa Ypsilon is located on the top of a hill which provides vistas towards the bay of Schiza and Sapientza as well as mountain views towards the east.
“The height of the house is limited to the tip of the olive trees to enable its integration with the surrounding landscape.” Theo Sarantoglou Lalis
The interior spaces are organized in two main parts: A more private area containing three bedrooms and two bathrooms with views towards the east and a more common area towards the south containing the kitchen area and the living room which provide continuous access to all three courtyards. The circulation through, around and on top of the house forms a continuous promenade comprising indoor and outdoor activities. The form of the concrete shell coupled with the planted roof and cross ventilation strategy provides an environmental response which prevents the need for mechanical cooling systems.
The remote location of villa Ypsilon project in combination with the limited budget and non-standard geometry induced a construction strategy that called for a large amount of off-site prefabrication and self-assembly which allowed to reduce the construction time to 7 months without compromising anything in terms of quality or exceeding the budget.
“We decided to buy a CNC machine that allowed for extensive prototyping and the production of non-standard elements. This included the concrete shell formwork, the livingroom lost formwork/acoustic ceiling, custom window frames, interior furniture and partition systems as well as landscape and pool formers.” Theo Sarantoglou Lalis
This “hands-on” approach allowed for a minimal use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ products while instead favoring locally sourced materials such as concrete, terrazzo and marble.
Facts & Credits:
Project name: Villa Ypsilon
Programme : Summer House
Total Area : 150 sqm
Design team : LASSA : Theo Sarantoglou Lalis (Principal) and Dora Sweijd (Principal) with Kasper Ax (Associate), Yousef Al Mehdari, Theo Grousopoulos, Thomas Jensen, Valeria Garcia, Nikolaos Klimentidis, Greg Spaw, Luke Tan,Yu Zheng,
Local Architect (Permit) : V. Kosmopoulos
Structural Engineer : Metep, L. Babilis.
Formwork Engineer : Nous, Manja van De Worp.
General Contractor : Triedkat: V. Leriou.
LASSA is a London and Brussels based architecture practice co-founded in 2009 by French and Greek architect Theo Sarantoglou Lalis and Belgian architect Dora Sweijd. LASSA operates at the intersection between the fields of art, technology and social science. As a Practice, we prioritise the behavioural attributes of architectural form – its capacity to enact and affect participation, stimulate the corporal experience of space and enhance socialization and the collective.
LASSA is strongly engaged with technology for its pivotal role in the way we collaborate, design and fabricate architecture. Current work includes commissions from the public and private sectors in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. LASSA is concurrently engaged in academic research through the work of diploma 17 at the Architecture Association and through workshops and lectures worldwide.
In 2010, LASSA was awarded a REA European research grant for COELUX, an advanced lighting system, in partnership with world leading specialists as well as research institutions throughout Europe and Switzerland. LASSA was shortlisted for a number of awards including the 2012 Chernikov award and the 2013 Lisbon Biennale award. LASSA is a chartered architecture company with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in London and Brussels.
Theo Sarantoglou Lalis I Founding Principal I ARB registered, UK.
Theo Sarantoglou Lalis is a French and Greek architect. He has been a Unit master for Diploma unit 17 at the Architectural Association since 2009. He is a visiting a professor at Chalmers University in Sweden. He has run architecture and urban design workshops in the US, UK, South america, China, Iran, Sweden and Australia. He has taught undergraduate studios in Lund and postgraduate studios at Harvard and Columbia. Prior to founding LASSA, he worked for 12 years as a project architect then project director on a number of completed international projects. He received his masters from the Bartlett school of Architecture in London. He has experience practicing architecture in 22 countries and is a registered architect since 2004.
Dora Sweijd I Founding Principal I Registered Architect, Belgium.
Dora Sweijd currently teaches at the Architectural Association in London and is a visiting professor at Chalmers University in Sweden. She has run architecture and urban design workshops in Rio, Nanjing, Antwerp and Lund. She was a visiting professor at Lund University. Prior to founding LASSA, she worked as an architect in practices in Brussels, London and New York including OMA, REX NY and Fosters and Partners. She is a registered architect in Brussels and she received her masters from the Bartlett school of Architecture in London.