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Minimalist concrete shelter: Residence in Kifissia

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The Residence in Kifissia is designed by Tense Architecture Network, situated in Kifissia, Greece. The residence’s plot is small and an adjacent building almost blocks the southern sun. The main part of the field should remain free and become the residence itself: an austere prism, centrally supported, hovers above the liberated ground. At first, an area was defined: a cubic shell of plants creates a limit for the house. In order to reside, ones withdraws in. Three metallic columns support a net of inox ropes where plants have already started to climb in order to generate a volume equally important to the house’s prisms.

When the plants are grown the green screen will be penetrated only by the black central column of the concrete shelter. The basalt-watery surface on which it is based reflects the light in the interior. Exposed concrete is dark tinted where a greater depth, a sense of anchoring was necessary. Artificial light is cautiously managed in order to protect the night and the intimacy that dim light offers.

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The shell remains intact towards the main facade. The public image of the residence will eventually recede behind the plants and the house will claim the whole field. The vigorously detached prism lets the sun enter and functions as a shelter: living space lies beneath. When the sliding panels retreat, the merging with the garden is complete.

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The space that the elevated prism creates is the main compositional gesture. The manner that this gesture is performed is crucial: it is the manner through which the hovering prism is supported by the central column. A calm tension is realized, a simple yet clear correlation of forces. The synergy between structural and architectural design gives a residence where the shell is not more important than its field. Those are juxtaposed: one to one.

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Photos: Filippo Poli

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