A Minimalist Poetry Amidst Nature: The Lap Pool House by Aristides Dallas Architects
Project Name: The Lap Pool House
Architect: Aristides Dallas Architects
Project Location: Tinos, Greece
Project Year: 2020
E/M engineer: Evangelos Tentis
Team: Aristides Dallas, Konstantinos Stathopoulos, Afrodite Michail
Construction: Aegean Construction
Structural Engineer: Theodoros Chrysovergis, Emmanouil Roditis
Project Area: 150 sq.m
The Lap Pool House by Aristides Dallas Architects is a home that emerges from the existing natural landscape of Tinos Island, Greece. This house takes inspiration from the cavities and ledges of the rocks found on the island. Born from the natural landscape, this residential project is a man-made cave that recreates spatial points of openness and introversion.
The house looks down a gradual slope into the bright blue Aegean sea, imparting a contemporary style that contrasts well with the arid landscape in which it is partially buried.
The home comprises primarily three volumes beneath a single concrete roof in a modular layout. The concrete roof appears to be an extension of the natural landscape itself.
A longitudinal swimming pool protruding courageously from the interiors extends out to the mesmerising view of the natural settings. This pool is the key design feature of this residence giving the solid rocky surroundings a sense of fluidity.
Another function performed by the pool is to subtly split the structure into two parts, with the bedroom suite separated from the remainder of the home. The two volumes are weaved together by a semi-outdoor terrace covered by a single concrete slab that spans the whole structure. Two of the bedrooms go beyond the roof, and owing to a series of skylights designed, they get plenty of natural light in the interior spaces.
The entrance of the house is through an earth crack in the rear side of the structure, and several cutouts in the roof welcome natural light and air to enter the house.
The two volumes projecting out from the slab, at right angles with each other, form the private areas, bedroom and a guest house. At the owner’s desire, there is a sheltered semi-open space in the volume that frames a vista while providing a cover at the same time.
The concrete roof blends into the ground on one side of the house, transforming into a large cantilever on the other side. This design sets its appearance as a creative structural element.
Underneath the central space of the slab, common spaces are established. The cantilevers concrete well connected to the interior spaces of the home, provides the most welcoming space for the summers, i.e., a semi-open living space.
According to Aristides Dallas, the founder and lead architect of the Athens and Tinos based studio, the ideology behind this project was to camouflage the built environment within the natural landscape while keeping a dynamic presence of the project well-maintained. The design team defines this residential architectural project as a tangible manifestation of contact between natural elements- stone and air. When these two elements come into a battle, either protecting stone risers or caverns of a stone envelope, carved by the wind as if by a trained craftsman’s hand, are produced.
In any case, the result is immediately noticeable in the natural environment, and it also serves as a natural landmark for the site. This house is thus a minimalist aesthetic refuge with clean lines and a simple colour palette that has drawn inspiration from the colours of the surrounding local rocks. A clean texture and materiality are maintained in this design.
The minimal and almost naked interior is informed in a chorus of white, greys and accents of wood which creates a conversation with a casual and informal living environment. The hue of light grey continues in the interior spaces of the house, with flooring and walls painted in the same shade. This imparts a feeling of uniformity and continuity in various spaces.
The interior spaces’ sparseness is mirrored on the exteriors as well with basic glass sliding doors in wooden and grey painted steel frames.
The monotony of the interiors is broken by contrasting small potted plants and dark timber wood tables and countertops. The vast living area accommodates a polished black recliner that sits beside a rust-coloured sofa. A fabric-lined steel chair, a glass-topped coffee table, a black and white vase set, and a floor lamp fills up the living room.
As per Dallas, who positioned The Lap Pool House and intended ample point of interest to enjoy the essence of the island and the sea stretching out in front of the house, the house is an amalgamation of landforms and natural elements in and around the site which urges the occupants to live with a complete connection with the natural scenery formed at Tino’s. It allows the residents to live with an absolute relationship with nature.
This minimalist landmark described its unique spatial features with a relationship between exposure and closeness, which results in hospitality risers and voids that appear within and above the landscape.
The project stands out and distinguishes itself from the landscape with the help of its materialities like a crack at the natural terrain. In this way, separate places with full exposure are established, while the ones facing interiors are completely shielded. The home is a nod to the attributes of the coefficients making up the natural environment, as well as a reminder of the forces of nature’s constant interplay.
This residential project can be conceived as a responsive architecture where the built environment adapts and responds well to the surrounding topography of the site. There is a balance formed between the harsh rocky terrain with a contrasting flowing linear swimming pool volume that extends out of the slope and leads the eye to the horizon.
The architecture of the house embraces nature and forms a relationship built on a strong foundation between the natural environment and the built environment. That nature resembling material and colour palette with subtle elements form a minimalist architecture that appears to be welcoming and comfortable to the users even amidst rocky terrain.
The simplicity of the design makes it merge well with the landscape and it appears to be a part of it from afar. Harmonious incorporation of land, air and cement is a reminder about the value of constructive minimalism and simplicity meeting and merging well with nature.
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