New architecture by the sea on Antiparos
Giampiero Peia, Peia Associati
Forget folklore, blue shutters and domed roofs: the villa designed by Milan-based practice Peia Associati has nothing to do with the picture-postcard Greek houses we are all familiar with. This residence on the Aegean consists of pure white volumes that appear to have been set down on the barren rocks of the coast in deliberate contrast to the blue of the sea. “The main concept draws from Cycladic architecture in terms of its forms, materials and orientation,” explains architect Giampiero Peia. “The clear rectangular forms, the use of local materials, the minimalist guidelines and colours, the focus on spatial perspective and the natural lighting are the main characteristics of this home.” Thanks to the project’s contemporary nature and its attention to materials (it uses Brooklyn series porcelain tiles from Marazzi), it won the Residential category in Ceramics and Design 2016.
Located by the sea on Antiparos, one of the most beautiful and famous islands in the Cyclades, this two-floor villa has a simple architectural structure. To make the most of the buildable area and to guarantee privacy and shelter from both the wind and the heat, a courtyard typology was chosen. “The courtyard is slightly raised with respect to the level of the garden and is accessed via a monumental staircase,” explains the architect, “like a marble cavea in an amphitheatre looking out over the sea, set perfectly amongst the volumes of the courtyard.” [In Roman times the “cavea”, Latin for “enclosure”, referred to the steps in an amphitheatre where the spectators would sit, Editor’s note]. “Thanks to this solution, the local builder and inhabitants proudly describe the courtyard building as liturgical.” The project for the villa consists of a cluster of modular elementary perimeter volumes enclosing a covered patio and a wooden grille that creates a play of light and shadows. The screening elements serve to filter rather than block sunlight, while the arrangement of the walls helps to create outdoor living areas protected from the wind. “The natural lighting helped us integrate the exterior with the interior spaces, and the play of shadows enabled us to create an essential atmosphere,” explained the architect. Large horizontal windowless openings offer glimpses of the surrounding landscape. “The position and orientation of the villa on the site was chosen in accordance with the path of the sun, the direction of the prevailing winds and the view of the sea.” So is this a rationalist approach that follows the principles of the heliothermic axis? Not exactly. In the light of today’s energy problems, this theory has now been disproved, as Giuliano Cammarata explains in his book “Climatologia dell’ambiente costruito” [“Climatology of the built environment”]. In the heliothermic orientation sunlight is equally distributed over the two main facades, but is only captured during the periods when it is less useful for the purposes of heating. In the summer in particular, sunlight strikes the same facades much more directly in the morning and afternoon. It penetrates inside the building through the openings and causes overheating for most of the day, resulting in discomfort for the occupants. In this project, however, a mechanism has been developed to gradually control natural ventilation while shielding the building from the light and heat from the south and the wind from the north. This system consists of a series of internal sliding doors and glazed wooden windows for the external openings, all of which slide away and are concealed in the walls. Inside, the spaces are all interconnected, creating a sensation of continuity and a soft, rarefied atmosphere – ideal for an unforgettable holiday.
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 175 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 45/N mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant