TAYGETUS RETREAT

TAYGETUS RETREAT

A secluded holiday retreat integrated into the slopes of Taygetus Mountain connecting the past to the present
Year:2016

The 88m2   lodge is located on a 418m2 plot, in the medieval settlement of Koumousta. On the site there is a ruined arched stone basement of 33 m2 used for keeping the animals with a courtyard.
The deserted building is maintained in this proposal and constitutes a fundamental element of the design, since the aim is to connect the past with the present. The ruin is treated as an interesting element from the past, a memory imprint with no interventions applied to it. The existing building is not functionally related to the new construction, suggesting its distinct identity. The stone ruin will remain on its current condition. However, essential interventions will be made for its support with suitable materials for restoration.
The design of the house, recommends a new layer of habitation on a higher level than the stone ruin, symbolizing the growth of this small village and suggesting a new stratification within the existing continuity of historic and spatial layers.
The proposal is for a modular construction with three discrete units:
– The central entrance area, a metal construction with glass, referring to the traditional sun porches of the village.
– The elongated space in the south-west side of the central entrance, with the mono-pitch roof as a living space of the residence. The inclined metal structure refers to the angled support of the traditional balconies.
– The area on the north-east side of the central entrance where the bedrooms are settled. This space is located on top of the stone ruin and therefore it follows its outline. It consists of an independent composite construction which is not supported by the ruin. The purpose of this addition is to become autonomous, both visually and technically from the existing ruin as a contemporary and light addition that follows the form of the old existing residence. Wooden cladding with old-style wooden panels is used (as observed in various houses in the village), matching as a natural material with the stone. In this synthesis the target is that the wood cladding appears as a lighter construction floating on top of the heavy stone ruin.
The owner opted for this solution in order to be able to use only one part of the house when being alone or the whole house when having guests.
The house is located on a lower level than that of the street, in order to fit with its low height, smoothly and gracefully to the landscape. The visitor walking by does not lose the entire view of the landscape and the surrounding mountains. The low height sun porch allows the sight to pass through and above it to the valley, so that the landscape is not interrupted by the retreat.