An infinity pool will form the roof of this cavernous house designed by the Athenian studio Kois Associated Architects for the Greek island of Tinos (+ slideshow).
Designed for the rocky terrain that makes up the southwest coast of the island, the Mirage house is designed by Kois Associated Architects as “an invisible oasis” where residents can enjoy panoramic views of the Aegean Sea without giving up their privacy.
The team decided to bury part of the building in the landscape and then to create a large open-air living room on the facade. These will all be housed under the rooftop pool, which will act as a huge mirror to help the building camouflage itself with its surroundings.
“Some of the main concerns of our clients were visibility and privacy,” project architect Nikos Patsiaouras told Dezeen. “At first we were concerned with the concept of invisibility. We asked ourselves ‘How can you make a building disappear?’ Our response was to imitate elements of the landscape.”
“The visual effect of the pool mirror in combination with the concept of invisibility recalled the visual phenomenon of mirage, from which the project was named,” he said.
Dry stone walls will surround sections of the interior and will also frame the entrance to the building. These are designed to refer to the traditional walls which can be spotted all over the picturesque landscape of the island.
Patsiaouras explained, “The things that most sparked our imaginations were the linear drywall constructions that articulate the landscape and the scattered shallow concrete water tanks used for agricultural purposes.
The team also plans to add adobe walls around the back of the building, with layers of vegetation that will help create a cool internal environment.
The house will be located on a natural plateau, allowing a simple development on one level. This will include three bedrooms and a separate kitchen, as well as the outdoor living room.
Here is a description of the Kois Associated Architects project:
Mirage, Tinos Island, Greece
Located in the northern part of the Cyclades, Tinos is the third largest island in the island formation. Known as Madonna Island, Tinos is Greece’s largest pilgrimage center. In its landscape of rugged rocky hills are more than 40 villages, like marble fragments of an ancient statue scattered across the hills. The island is famous for its unspoiled architecture, picturesque villages and stunning landscapes. Over a thousand churches stand on the slopes and hilltops, a thousand dovecotes, while masterpieces of local architecture and dozens of abandoned windmills lie in its ravines and valleys. The landscape is bordered by hundreds of kilometers of dry stone walls which make the landscape unique.
The residence is situated on a steeply sloping rocky terrain facing south, overlooking the Aegean Sea. The site offers protection from the prevailing winds and a natural plateau which, from the outset, was identified as the optimal location for the residence as it would minimize the impact on the landscape due to the excavation. It is a single level structure and has an area of 198 square meters. The location allows to benefit from a magnificent and panoramic view of the landscape and the seascape. Our approach to the program was Doric. Only the essential features and programmatic elements to ensure a comfortable stay have been incorporated into the design.
Our goal was to integrate the building into the landscape as if it were part of it. The living space is covered by a rimless swimming pool which produces a visual effect of the water extending to the horizon, disappearing and merging with the seascape. From a distance, especially when viewed from the approach path, on higher ground, the only visible feature of the house is the sea-like surface of the pool. The water during the day reflects the environment and at night. , the night sky filled with stars. The mirrored water pool carefully positioned over the landscape evokes memories of the optical mirage phenomenon from which the project was named.
Most of the visible building materials were mined from the surrounding area and were used to make the house disappear from the landscape. Local techniques were also borrowed such as the characteristic drywall construction that is found in abundance on the island. This technique was implemented with minor modifications; on the side backfill walls on either side of the pool volume. Local materials have a low impact on the environment and they are very effective as insulating materials. The back walls are made of retained earth and have layers of vegetation that regulate the temperature and cool the environment by evaporation. The roof-top swimming pool provides thermal insulation and protection against solar radiation and heat transmission.
We wanted to make a house merged with its surroundings, an invisible oasis hidden from unsuspected eyes. The house acts almost like an observation post as it clings to the rocks and watches over the spectacular cascading landscape. A landscape left almost intact due to the design strategy implemented and the careful selection of materials.
Principal architect: Stelios Kois
Project manager: Nikos Patsiaouras
Design team: Filipos Manolas, Gaby Barbas, Giannakis Konstantinos
Surface area: 198 m²
See more extreme places to swim, including this home with a glass bottom pool above a deck.