On the coast of Rhodes, Greece is located adjacent to a winding road this magnificent Villa F by the German architects Hornung and Jacobi. The architects have realized the house behind an existing stone wall, adjacent to a winding road with directly behind the Mediterranean coast. The house has a form of a bent rectangular prism facing the sea with open-plan living, lots of space and natural light.
The home’s modern facade has a strong geometric presence, in sharp contrast to these natural, serene surroundings. Inspired by nature but executed in a contemporary way, the house flows from outdoors in, from upper to lower levels with ease, hinting at the general aura of the place.
Inspired by the surrounding rocky landscape, the shape of the villa resembles one of the possible local geological evolutions, with its luminous, crystalline silhouette evoking the conformation of quartz. A structure in which each single space, whether internal or external, is as undifferentiated as possible.
On the ground, the opening of the garage the only thing that breaks the rock barrier. This underground storage for the car is also a gateway to the house which overflows into a spacious staircase that takes you back to the first floor, the living spaces. Here you will find an impressive addition, minimalist and sleek designed interior also has a pool which is directly adjacent to the stone wall and garden.
- The home sits perched atop a coastal road bordered by a natural stonewall. A striking series of skylights lead up to the main living area, which features clean contemporary interiors with neutral furnishings and sweeping views of the ocean.
- The perfect straight lines and all white elements and materials used makes this home a truly one of a kind architecture masterpiece.
- The terrace opening on a panorama and a pool, is situated on the top part, whereas the private parts are accessible from the first floor, in the white facetted prism. The organization of the different spaces were conceived so that the orientation facing the sea, be as clear as possible.
- The living space of the home is all situated one story up. Ground level holds only a small section of home, a large swimming pool, and a great shaded deck area with shading provided by the house above.
- A sculptural staircase leads up to a den area, encircling this open double storey living space and leading up toward a huge skylight. An open upper-level hallway offers unobstructed views through the windows and of the living areas below.
- Interiors are all white, simplifying the style and amplifying natural sunlight. Interiors boast a minimalist style with few adornments and furnishings kept to a bare minimum. The few pieces permitted are cool, clean and contemporary. The real star of the show here is the architecture itself. A staggering of levels, some two-storey, enjoy privacy within this open concept space while allowing natural light to flow freely.
- The general form consists in a bent and faceted rectangular prism, lifted off the ground framing the ocean’s horizon. the elevated exterior ground plane houses a swimming pool and ample yard space under the overhanging bedroom space, where parametric triangular apertures open sight lines from the private program to the water below.
- The architects have provided a variety of natural cooling mechanisms that reduce the villa’s overall energy load. In addition to a mechanical opening in the roof that creates a chimney cooling effect, the evaporation of the home’s swimming pool also helps to control the microclimate.
- The home is constructed from prefabricated timber and plaster to keep the costs lower and due to the home being used only as a getaway vacation home. The prefabricated timber structure makes sense given the climate conditions of the coastal site in Rhodes, Greece.
- It smart design includes passive ventilation and cooling, and small volumes that cool down quickly. In addition, evaporation from the swimming pool also contributes a passive cooling effect. Roof-mounted photovoltaic panels provide power off the grid.
Hornung and Jacobi Architecture:
The site of the holiday home in Rhodes/Greece yet possess characteristics and outstanding qualities, which we only attempted to frame with our design.
The site is located three meters above a coastal road, which is bordered by a natural stonewall that has been equally continued for our proposal. On the one hand the continuation of the found wall generates a high level of privacy, while on the other hand it relates to the given situation, which we were tempted to preserve as much as possible. The holiday home was designed for a couple. They wished a separate area for guests, which we mostly embedded in the given topography by integrating the shady tree population and without generating an equally visible volume.
At first sight the typology of the building seems to be strange compared with the context. However this first impression will be refuted by the choreography of the building, which is precisely orientated at the context. While from a formal point of view the building relates to the found eroded rocks and washed away shoreline, the entrance was generated by an interruption in the continuous natural stonewall, which leads one at first „under“ the site. Skylights show the path up to the main living area. The generated twist focuses our sight towards the ocean, whereas the surrounding walls only serve as a frame of the context. Thus a spatial division of the different uses was avoided where possible, as well as a differentiation of interior- and exterior spaces. Most important was to prevent a limitation of the magnificent view.
The challenge in this design lies in construction and the involved climate technology. The construction of the building above ground is planned as a prefabricated timber structure finished with white plaster, which generates an abstract link to traditional old buildings close to that site. The lightweight construction was chosen because it will be mainly used for spontaneous short-term visits. Massive building parts were avoided to reach a quick cool down. Through a mechanically controlled opening in the roof a well-known chimney effect will be activated, which starts at the massive base plate in the garage from where integrated cable ducts lead cooled air through the building. An additional cooling effect will be provided by the evaporation of the pool. The triangle-shaped photovoltaics on the roof provides the building with energy and enables a self-sufficient living. Areas, which are kept spatially open will profit from cantilevers, which keep these areas shaded.
Project name: Villa F
Location: Rhodes, Greece
- Type By Characteristic: Holiday House, Modern House
- Type By Site: Ocean House, Island House
- Type By Size: Medium House – (201 sqm – 450 sqm)
- Type By Materials: Plaster / Mortar / Masonry House
Project Area: 220 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Completion Year: 2011
Client / Owner / Developer: n/a
Architects: Hornung and Jacobi Architecture – Sternstrasse 67, 20357 Hamburg, Deutschland, Germany
Collaborators: Peter Thomas Hornung, Elsa Katharina Jacobi, Jan Escher
Text Description: © Courtesy of Hornung and Jacobi Architecture
Images: © Hornung and Jacobi Architecture, Bloomimages