Aloni – Underground in Greece

Antiparos Island  Greece  –  DECA Architecture

Built:   2005 – 2008
Area:   237 m2  (2,560 sq. ft.)

We find it hard not to get excited by innovative design.  Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.  Both types provide opportunities to learn, adapt or adopt!  We especially like this home because of the way it fits with it’s environment.  Share your thoughts as you go through the images or we’ll never know if we’re alone in this world!

Aloni - Cycladic Islands Greece
Aloni – Cycladic Islands Greece

The architect’s notes:

“The design of the house is a dual response to the particular topography of the site and to the rural domestication techniques that in the past shaped the raw ‘cycladic island’ landscape.

In the past, dry-rubble stone walls domesticated the land for agricultural purposes and were the most prominent man-made interventions in the landscape. The walls retained earth and transformed a steep topography into a series of arable plateaus.

Today, the Cycladic Islands are being reshaped by a very different force: the demand for holiday homes. The design uses the precedent of earth-retaining stone walls to create an artificial landscape that is both rural and domestic in use.

The site is a natural saddle where two slopes meet. In the north-south axis the slope rises between two hills while in the east-west axis the slope drops, opening to the sea views. Two long stone walls bridge the hills allowing the house to nestle in the space within while maintaining the continuity of the landscape which flows over it. This simple strategy blurs the edges of the house and makes its mass imperceptible within the broader skyline of the island.

The presence of the house is revealed by the four courtyards carved into the flowing landscape. The courtyards separate the living spaces into five interior areas, an arrangement which resembles the fifth side of a dice. As a result, the house is protected from the elements, yet is full of natural light, generous views and a compact but rich relationship to its setting.

The name of the house itself, Aloni, refers to the remains of a crop-harvesting circle that was found and preserved as part of the agricultural past of the site.”

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Another underground house you’ll enjoy is Villa Vals



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