Akaki is a village a few kilometres from Nicosia, the capital of the island of Cyprus. Here the old harmoniously co-exists alongside the new, as does history with modernity, wild nature with agriculture, while at the same time the context is tamed by humans and their residential areas. All this has gone to be part of the home taking its name from the village itself, Akaki House, by Elina Pattichi’s design office, EP Architects.
In fact, its 275 m2 of floor space has been conceived and fitted out to bring in the landscape that opens up all around it, so as to incorporate it and make it an inherent part of the design, through broad windows. The ground floor rooms, and especially the spacious living room and kitchen, have been laid out on an axis in line with the fields on the horizon. At certain hours of the day, natural light reflects these on the walls, furnishings or glass doors. Instead, the upper floor houses the bedrooms, all arranged around a sort of inner courtyard.
The same approach is reworked in the structural solutions that respect nature itself, starting off from the well-integrated volumes, which provide visual continuity thanks to the two storeys and flat roof. Particularly striking is the first floor façade: on one side it reveals a form folded towards the inside and the central windows, while on the other there is an interplay of solids and voids in black and white.
And it is precisely black and white that feature in the interiors of Akaki House, sometimes blending into the greys of the floorings, finishes and accessories. One of the unusual interior elements is the steel and concrete staircase next to the entrance door. This structure acts as a sort of filter between the ground floor and the more private top floor. The parapet reveals simple stylised forms: descending from the upper level, a flight of stairs looks out over fields thanks to a broad long glass wall; there is a landing with a handrail on one side and full-length railings echoing the same lines on the other.
Lastly, the home is fitted out with smart technology for low environmental impact, starting off with its limited energy consumption due to the presence of solar panels and a photovoltaic system. The entire design and layout of the spaces responds to a precise bioclimatic strategy: orientation, the geometry of the windows, and the shell all contribute to improving cross ventilation and to making the most of the sunlight.
Location: Akaki, Nicosia (Cyprus)
Architect: Elina Pattichi EP Architects
Built up area: 275 m2
General contractor: K. Pierou Constructions Ltd
Photography by Pixelart, courtesy EP Architects