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Ridge House

Mediterranean Living

AREA

Ridge House
By Caterina Testa -
Saint-Gobain has participated in the project

Located on the northwest coast of Antiparos, an island of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea, the private residence Ridge House, designed by Greek architecture firm AREA (Architecture Research Athens), is slotted into a steep slope of Mediterranean scrub and olive groves just a few hundred meters from the coast. Not just a summer home but a permanent residence, the ample outdoor spaces have been designed to protect occupants from the blistering summer sun but also from the strong winter winds.

The result of a local developer partnering with major Greek and international architecture firms, the project was designed to meet the needs of a French couple interested in transforming their island holiday home into a permanent residence with space to host their children and grandchildren.

The architects were facilitated in their task of catering for the very different year-round climate of torrid summer heat and bitter winter winds by the position of the house along a ridge that provided a natural shelter. Anchored to the rock, the new extension and long retaining wall follow the contour of the land. The backbone of the whole construction, this wall stands as a dividing line between the underground spaces carved into the rock and the volumes reaching out toward the sea. It also shelters a pathway giving access along the way to the different rooms of the house, and leading to a secluded rear patio that can be enjoyed even on the windiest winter day. From here, one enters the environments carved into the rock. Of these, the guest quarters and kitchen – hidden by planted roofs – have views across to the sea.

A series of inverted beams cantilever seaward from the rocky shelf to form a floating pergola structure. A long uniform stretch of exposed concrete, it stretches over a dwelling where exterior and interior become a seamless continuum as the ceilings of internal spaces give way to pergolas sheltering the outdoor areas. The windows...

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