by Jerry ElengicalSep 15, 2021
Strong geometric volumes rendered in exposed concrete make up the Residence in Euboea, which takes its name by its location that overlooks the warm blue sea and pulsating green of the Euboean Island in Greece. Designed by Greek firm Tense Architecture Network, the private dwelling sits on an inclined corner plot, that maximises views from and toward it. One can deduce that the architecture is an evolved, refined extension of brutalism, with its exposed concrete and elemental, self-assured blocks.
A vision in concrete, the home is made of two assertive volumes - a neat and composed triangular main house and a hemispherical, picturesque pool that sits poised right next to it. Placed on a diagonal and inscribed within a triangular plot, the Residence in Euboea refers and elevates its context, with ample views to the sea that unfurls in front of it. A melia azedarach (chinaberry) tree grows in the centre of its inner courtyard that rests within the patio, and brings in natural light, apart from separating the interior spaces. The perimeter of this informally trapezoidal space also contains all the main areas of the house and establishes a dialogue between the inside and outside.
The rounded north west corner stretches toward the south east one, rising in a pointed, “horizontal prism. Anti-diametrically it is released with dynamism, hovering over the ground,” shares Tilemachos Andrianopoulos, founder of Tense Architecture Network. The residential architecture is realised across two levels, with the first one hosting the entrance hall, an open plan living room, two expansive sleeping quarters and other principal rooms. Two sets of stairs with glass railings connect to the level below, which includes a parking and an underground service room with spaces for mechanical, electrical and plumbing, cellar and storage.
The clinical interior design references the refined yet rough materiality and colour of its load bearing, reinforced concrete exterior. The surfaces are tinted with an earthy, absorbent paint, while the ceilings and walls are left uncoated. The furniture and decal employed is strictly muted, placed to the bare essential and employs the softest of beige and white to render themselves. The two sharp corners of the residential design host a shower and toilet, along with cabinets for the kitchen. Dark copper outlines the doors and the floor to ceiling windows, while the unadorned walls and glass surfaces bring together the well-grounded design, accentuated by the subtlest of linear and wall lighting.
Rammed earth and pebble pathways outline the garden and added landscaping that are decorated with Mediterranean shrubs and trees, relaxing the angularity of the form. A Judas tree welcomes one at the entrance, planted in between the hovering, pointed corner and the circular pool.
An elongated, curved veranda sits under a cantilevered pergola, as an extension of the living space at the south west corner and leads one to the sculptural, sleek and specific swimming pool. “The pool rests freely in the surrounding countryside,” says the design team, and is also dressed in concrete, its circular shape softening and complementing the triangular block it sits beside.
The Residence in Euboea is at first glance charismatic, and carries an understated elegance in its rough materiality, coupled with the subtle warmth that its interior provides with its bare functionality.
Name: Residence in Euboea
Location: Euboea Island, Greece
Architect: Tense Architecture Network
Project team: T. Andrianopoulos, N. Skantzouris
Structural Design: Athanasios Kontizas
Landscape Design: Eleni Tsirintani
Lighting Design: LUUN
MEP Design: Spiros Arvanitis