Project: The Nest House
Architecture: React Architects
Design Team: Natasha Deliyianni , Yiorgos Spiridonos
Collaborator Architects: Andreas Androulakakis- Tatiana Tzanavara
Supervision: Yiannis Vagias
Structural Engineer: Agellos Kottikas
Location: Kostos, Greece
Area: 185 m2
Photo Credits: Panagiotis Voumvakis
The site used to be the home of a family of partridges. The family continues to consider the site its nest. Τhe site is located at Ag. Giannis at the municipality of Kostos on the island of Paros. Its orientation on the long side is southeastern, with a view towards the sea and the Gulf of Naxos.
The Nest house extends on this side. The building protrudes from the slope of the hill, fully adapted to the contours of the terrain. On the western side, it is almost underground. The zig-zagged walls refer to the dry-stone walls of the Cycladic rural landscape. They combine to create a “shell” that maintains a favorable microclimate regardless of the weather conditions.
From the west side and the highest point of the site, the visitor descends towards the heart of the Nest house. The rooms of the main house are connected by a long corridor, offering framed views of the Kefalos Cape in Paros and of neighboring Naxos. Upon approaching the house from the road it is barely visible. The descent towards the interior and then outside, to the big outdoor plateau in front is a gradual transition from within the house and the framed views of the Aegean landmarks towards a panoramic view: Naousa, Naxos’ chora, the Antikefalos Cape, the west side of Naxos, Kastraki, Herakleia, and Ios.
The courtyards are paved with mosaics and are positioned next to the living areas. They are adapted to the natural slope. The courtyard on the west side refers to the living room. The living room, the kitchen, and the two bedrooms have a view of the sea. On a lower level, a semi-subterranean guest house concludes the design.
The doors and windows are made of wood planks, colored grey. The retaining walls are made from stone. The landscape architecture is limited to courtyards. The rest of the site retains the natural Cycladic landscape. The walls have a low height and they surround the central courtyard following the proportions of traditional architecture. An emphasis has been given to the “fifth” elevation, the elevation of the rooftops. Repetition and standardization of the openings are of elementary importance to the design.
The architecture has a dual nature: it is integrated into the landscape geometries “elevated” from them by a distinct white wall that generates living spaces. This wall morphs into a façade that delineates the different levels and organizes living and viewing spaces. The design avoids the typical white volume clustering, defining a series of patios, walkways, enclosed courtyards, descents, and connecting stairs behind the white wall. The architectural language is a result of the use of natural elements. It fills in voids and redefines necessities, images, and living spaces. It complements the surface of the landscape, it takes root, and it becomes an integral part of its surroundings.