Tense Architecture Network design home in a Greek olive grove
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Tense Architecture Network completes a "frugal" concrete home in a Greek olive grove

The triangular form of this concrete home in Greece by Tense Architecture Network creates a large window overlooking olive groves and the Gerania Mountains (+ slideshow).

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

Greek studio Tense Architecture Network designed Residence in Megara so that it would frame a central courtyard.

The concrete house sits in an olive grove, surrounded by over 300 of the fruit-bearing trees, between the Megara plain and the Gerania Mountains in the west of the historic Attica region.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

The building follows the gentle incline of the site, tapering out towards the range of mountains on its northern side. All south-facing views are towards the courtyard, rather than out to the open plains.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

"The residence had to make a choice," said the architects. "The mountainous volume lies to the north; the residence directs itself there, renouncing the distant plain."

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

"The house is a frugal yet decisive answer to the need of a family shelter in the midst of a rather reclusive site," added the studio, who also designed a boxy concrete residence in Athens.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

Living spaces and sleeping areas are separated into two blocks on either side of the courtyard.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

The larger volume, containing an open-plan living and dining area features views directed towards the mountain. Bedrooms are set in a smaller block that backs onto a pocket of garden located in the tip of the triangle.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

Sliding glass doors run the width and breadth of the two facades, opening out the protected garden spaces.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

The two volumes are linked by an glazed corridor that runs along one side of the courtyard. A high slotted wall runs along the other side, providing shelter but also views of the plains through a series of tall openings.

Small lights set into the bottom of each opening illuminate slices of the wall at night.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

"The house's courtyards and living spaces remain inscribed in an austere, yet perforated triangle," said the team.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

Glazing set back from the edges of the concrete structure creates a covered veranda in front of the living and dining area, sheltered by the overhang of the roof.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

In the living space, a warm wooden dining table appears to extend from the top of the kitchen work surface, but a small separation between the two allows room for a separating curtain.

A strip light runs above both kitchen and dining furniture to create continuity between preparation and dining areas.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

The table is suspended from the ceiling by a metallic flue, which hovers above an angular grate for a hearth in the concrete floor. A sheer gold curtain draws a curving path around the table to offer privacy at night.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

The exposed concrete shell was washed in an earthy transparent glaze, intended to link it with the colour of the soil and vegetation. Fragrant herbs, succulents and trailing planting have been planted on the roof and are being coaxed across the courtyard on wires.

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network

Photography is by Petros Perakis


Project credits:

Project Team: Tilemachos Andrianopoulos, Kostas Mavros, Thanos Bampanelos
Structural engineer: Athanasios Kontizas

Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network
Site plan – click for larger image
Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network
Floor plan – click for larger image
Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network
Roof plan – click for larger image
Residence in Megara by Tense Architecture Network
Section – click for larger image