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Salamis Summer House

A Dystopian Capsule

AREA

A constant architectural theme, the vacation home lends itself to experimentation. This may well be because client and designer agree on one thing: it is an exceptional building. Neither a permanent residence, nor a work place, the holiday home is for holidays. It is the concrete manifestation of a dystopian characteristic that goes against the natural state of things, the normal human condition, especially today, that demands that we always have something to do. Being able to deviate from that general norm has always been a prerogative of the few. Even today when vacations have become a right, still not everyone can afford to go on holiday. It is a privilege that requires a person to change scenery and step outside the usual time constraints, a special moment that demands a special environment, where satisfying the senses immersed in nature becomes the only thing that matters.
Nature has always been the main element underpinning any project concerned with leisure. However, it sometimes happens that the architect is confronted with an environment that has little natural about it. So, the process of creating an alternative setting - re-creating natural beauty on Earth - requires a series of conjuring acts. The job of restoring beauty demands strength, tenacity and much study.
Salamis, the Greek island famous for the Battle of Salamis when the ancient Greeks defeated the Persians, is today an extension of the continental metropolis that is Athens and Piraeus, less than 
2 km and a few minutes away by ferry. Its coastline is dotted with the ghosts of decommissioned shipyards; its flat hinterland still shows patches of the olive groves that once covered the land. Former villages have sprawled outward in haphazard fashion, a maze of dirt roads connecting the small plots with their shoddily built houses. 
This was the holiday-unfriendly context in which the architects of Athenian studio AREA (Styliani Daouti, Giorgos Mitroulias...

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