Under Construction


Tinos, Cyclades

Here, on a slope of Tinos, a residence with a swimming pool on a plot that includes a stone threshing floor, a ruined cell, a spring that flows at the root of a large vertical rock through a fissure, creating together with the fig trees that surround it a geological composition of special beauty and a reference point of the relief of the land. Beyond these, however, the defining feature of the plot is the strong downward slope towards the South, the country and the port of Tinos. Such is the incline of the ground, from 24% to 48%, that in itself dictated a synthetic proposal of a residence mostly undercut in the earth.

The underground construction significantly reduces the size of the building volume, since almost the entire building is hidden in the earth and fully integrated into the natural relief. But, precisely for this reason, i.e. its complete integration into the existing morphology of the ground, the underground dwelling raises the issue of entry: how does one enter an undercut-dwelling, how does one enter the earth and how does one inhabit it?

The house is entered from the west and appears as a small above-ground volume, located on the part of the plot that has the least slope. The footprint of the simple, one-story volume of the entrance, which projects from the cavernous volume, resembles that of the existing buildings that are scattered in the Tinian landscape. The choice to make the entrance from the front and to the side was aimed at ensuring easier access but also at the same time viewing the residence and its swimming pool on the left with the town of Tinos and the blue sea on the right. This juxtaposition between the two is what constitutes in this space the entrance to the undercut-dwelling, not only as a concept but as a function and as a feeling.

In addition, in the body of the house are opened up "courtyards", outdoor spaces, covered or not, that bring the sky back inside and offer different experiences of living and enjoying the Cycladic climate while also helping to protect from the almost permanent northwest wind. And here, in these perforations, lies the answer to underground dwelling, inevitably. In creating a balanced sequence of fills and voids in terms of openings, either in the floor plan with the "courtyards" or the solid stone and perforated sections of the facade.

Share this

Test title

Test subtitle