Panos E. Gerakakis, Takis Exarchopoulos Architects, Dimitris Kalapodas
The 1007m² (10.839 ft²) property, located in Athens' northern suburb Ekali (Greece), is facing both Rodon Avenue and Ikarias Street, with a mean of 3,60 m (11,81 ft) of height difference between the two streets.
The wish of the client was to build two houses on the plot. We had to guarantee full independence of the two residences: separate entrances for vehicles and pedestrians, separate gardens, separate heating systems etc.
The site's orientation (long sides facing southwest and northeast) and the concern for an optimal utilization of the remaining free space, when applying the houses' footprint on it, led us to the composition of an oblong building with the two houses appearing as a single structure. The dropping line of the profile of their single-pitch roofs, following the inclination of the plot, intensifies this impression.
The access ways for pedestrians and vehicles are set parallel to the northeastern side of the buildings. This side shows a more hermetic façade with small openings. The ramps to the garages in the basements are located here. On the southwestern side wide loggias open to the garden and swimming pool. They offer protection against cold winter winds and from direct sunlight during summer, while at the same time being natural extensions of the living room.
Despite the axial symmetry of their floor plans, the two residences differ in character. The living rooms are located in the residences' ground-floors. The upper floors include the parents' and the children's bedrooms.
The structure of the houses consists of reinforced concrete with brick infills. Concrete was also used for the surrounding outside facilities with its surface left exposed (retaining walls, entrances), while exposed aggregate concrete was used for the vehicle ramps and the pedestrian pathways. The roof sides are cladded with zinc sheets in grey and red colour, while the roof itself is covered with bituminous granule-coated shingles. The railings, as well as the pedestrian and vehicle gates, are made of stainless steel, the entrance parapet and the balcony floorings on the first floor are made of safety glass. Red limestone was used for the outer lining of the fireplaces and red marble for the entrance steps. The floors are covered with ceramic tiling and oak wood. The inner window frames and all wall boardings are also made of oak wood.
The houses were presented in the exhibition "Architectural Awards 2008" (April to June 2009 - presented as award nominees), which took place in the Benaki Museum in Athens and was organized by the Hellenic Institute of Arhitecture (EIA).
Architectural design and supervision of construction: Τakis Exarchopoulos Elena Exarchopoulou Panos E. Gerakakis
Structural engineering: Sotiris Dimitriou
Building services engineering: Giannis Sygounis, Panos Babalitis
Building site's area: 1.007 m² (10.839 ft²) Building's area: 403 m² (4.338 ft²) (both residences, excluding basements)