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3 Storey building (blue house). Mezzanine and ground floor

DESIGN / CONSTRUCTION SUPERVISION

Location : Gerakas, Attica

Construction: 2006-2008

Floor area: 109m2 ground floor + 145m2 mezzanine Garage and plant room 134m2

Concept

Both the two residences were developed around the aim of their residents enjoying the outdoors. So both residences have access to the outdoors both visually through their openings and physically through the use of large verandas. All facades but the south, are detached from the neighboring plots allowing for access to sunlight all year long. The south façade was chosen to be the blind one, and the design was not counting on it from the start, because the neighbors’ maneuvers when they built in the future are unpredictable as to what extend they will block the façade. The mezzanine was divided into two zones; the lower level is the ‘public open space’ which communicates visually with the upper level accommodation of the ‘private spaces’. The double height space allows for unobstructed views over the living and dining areas as well as the fireplace. The space is ‘breathing’ though its windows even on dark winter days.

Structure and building fabric

The structure is reinforced concrete the most frequent method of construction in Greece. The opaque elements of walls are built with hollow ceramic blocks and insulation, and the openings are double glazing with aluminum frames and shutters.

Approaching the passive solar design

Bioclimatic approach was kept straightforward and limited to very basic maneuvers. The plot is small, with north and eastern face on the adjacent roads, whereas south and western faces are attached (?) to the neighboring plots. Therefore there were a number of constraints shaping the design decisions. The design ensures natural cross and stack ventilation as well as night cooling during summer. Overheating of the top mezzanine floor is prevented with the construction of an openable north facing window over the landing. All spaces have access to natural sunlight through their openings. The north facing windows are kept to a minimum. All walls and the roof are insulated and windows are double glazed although their frames are not insulated (a feature disappointingly pricy at the time of construction).

The garden

The garden is narrow, as both size and form are obliged/directed (?) by the Planning Regulations applying in the area.