Guest House in Antiparos, Greece The somewhat lower-lying guesthouse maintains a distance to the main house, affording a requisite privacy. It constitutes the germinal cell of the main building and incorporates all of the details that will come to characterise its larger counterpart. The ground plan of the house consists of a rectangle accommodating all the necessary functions – a bedroom with a bathroom, a kitchen, and a dining and small living area with its own separate WC. The generously proportioned outdoor area with sun-shading is in fact the real exterior living room, which in turn corresponds to the Greek way of life. The materialisation is simple and robust: ceilings and floors are executed in concrete, the walls externally in natural stone masonry and internally in sandlime brick, whilst the veranda is built with massive supports and slender wooden planking that creates a powerful play of sun and shadow. Moveable panels allow the north-facing part of the outdoor area to be curtained off so as to counter the wind conditions if needed. In order to harmonise the appearance, everything is coated white, which corresponds to a centuries-old Greek construction tradition practiced to improve the climatic and hygienic standards of buildings. The architectural vocabulary is straightforward and corresponds to Greek building regulations. The small windows provide protection against the sun and wind. The form is dictated by human scale and human needs, as well as cultural and climatic determinants, albeit enriched with culturally free-floating and lightly tongue-in-cheek elements. Thus the undulating carpet of whitest marble that forms the plinth of the house contrasts with the barren scenery, giving additional emphasis to the raw character of the masonry walls. The project deliberately dispense with blue elements, save for the blue jean fabric of the two couches in the exterior and interior areas. Round elements such as the rounded terrace skirting of marble, round mirrors and round handles on the wardrobes and in the kitchen playfully add to the form repertoire of the secular “diminutive living temple”. The white-in-white of the house resonates with associations with the habitat utopias of the 1960s, such as those of Superstudio. The predilection for round forms – which reflect the Space Age and became a characteristic of Pop Culture, but similarly represent a return to craftsmanship and suggest an ecological awareness – mirrors the manifold levels of the project.

Project: AFGH, project leader: Christine Bickel