riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape

React Architects root Riza House into Paros island’s terrain

 

Greek architectural office React Architects designs Riza House, the first one of a series of entangled residences on Paros island, Greece. Embodying its name, derived from the Greek word for ‘root’, the project is rooted in the island’s topography, as white walls emerge organically, unfolding like a geometric ribbon across the landscape to shape the volumes of the house.

 

Perched atop the elevated ‘Psilafi’ area, the house boasts a southwest orientation along its elongated side, affording panoramic views of the sea and neighboring Antiparos island. The surrounding region, characterized by its unique topography, features a series of vernacular buildings of specific geometry that are composed as a whole and serve various purposes, including houses, warehouses, and stables. Drawing from the local architectural language and reimagining it with contemporary flair, React Architects devises a design that integrates white folded walls firmly rooted in the land. These malleable walls gracefully adapt to the undulating terrain, forming a multifaceted structure that harmonizes with the distinctive morphology of the site. As a result, the residence comprises multi-level exterior courtyards that open toward the views, creating a seamless connection between the interior and the surrounding landscape.

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
the white wall traces the landscape | all images by Panagiotis Voumvakis

 

 

riza’s spaces expand and embrace the surrounding landscape

 

To capture the essence of the local dwellings, known as ‘katoikies’, the yard serves as connecting element forming a single residential complex. The design incorporates a guest house that maintains a sense of privacy for its occupants while remaining in harmony with the central volume. Both the guest house and the main building feature carefully positioned openings that blur the boundaries between the interior and exterior, allowing the spaces to expand and embrace the landscape utilizing the courtyards that are protected from the north wind. These openings, varying in size and height, give off a playful ambiance upon the once monotonous white volume, casting captivating shadows that animate the architectural composition.

 

The concept of Riza extends beyond the physical form of the building, with flexible flows that occur between the living spaces and the roof. Upon entering through the main staircase, visitors are led between the contrasting textures of the white walls and the stone retaining wall, reminiscent of the local dry-stone constructions found in the entrance courtyard. From there, one can explore the interior spaces, accompanied by the soothing element of water, or ascend to the roof terrace to enjoy the view of the Aegean Sea. While drawing from vernacular architecture, the design team aims to redefine traditional forms through a modern prism.

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
the white wall unfolds like a geometric ribbon on the landscape

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
small scattered openings draw from Le Corbusier’s Norte Dam de Haut

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
the project aims to redefine traditional forms through a modern prism

react-architects-riza-paros-greece-designboom-1800-3

flexible flows occur between the living spaces and the roof

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
the yard serves as connecting element between the volumes of the residential complex

react-architects-riza-paros-greece-designboom-1800-2

Riza house embraces the area’s unique topography gently emerging from the terrain

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
the house boasts a southwest orientation enjoying panoramic views of the sea

riza house's whitewashed walls emerge from arid greek landscape
the courtyards ensure a seamless connection between the interior and the surrounding landscape

 

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various openings create an interplay of playful shadows
various openings create an interplay of playful shadows
the living room overlooks the psilafi area and the aegean sea
the living room overlooks the psilafi area and the aegean sea
exploded axonometric diagram
exploded axonometric diagram
ground floor plan
ground floor plan
front elevation
front elevation

project info:

 

name: Riza
architect: react architects | @reactarchitects

design team: Natasha Deliyianni, Yiorgos Spiridonos

collaborating architect: Nikoletta Georgopoulou

structural engineer: Aggelos Kottikas

mechanical and electrical engineer: Nikos Chrystofyllakis

renderings: Andreas Androulakakis, Tatiana Tzanavara, Nikoletta Georgopoulou

site supervisor: React Architects

location: Psilafi, Paros, Greece

photography: Panagiotis Voumvakis | @panagiotisvoumvakis

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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