A formalistic and fluid holiday house in Porto Heli Greece designed by Harald Nürnberg
The 8000 sq.m. plot is situated on the hills outside Porto Heli in Argolis region of Peloponnese in Greece. With a slop facing south, the site is overlooking Porto Heli bay, the Aegean sea and the island of Spetses with panoramic views open in all directions.
The large plot is organised into three zones: the lower level near the road forming the approach to the house with a ring drive-way and a steep landscaping slop; the middle level creating the main plateau for the residence and adjacent outdoor spaces (main pool terrace, gardens, play ground, bbq, storages, garage); and the upper level simulating the hill-top feeling with a lounge area at the top and an organically formed pathway through the cultivated hill-side.
The main design concept was to create an open plan, breaking the large programmatic requirements of the residence in order for all of them to enjoy the visual and functional connection to the site and beyond, while at the same time the volumetric compositions, minimalist design and all-white finishings tie it together.
The main cardinal directions are emphasised, with the east-west becoming the longitudinal axis to house the respective wings and the north-south axis becoming the nexus of the design with the main entrance foyer, double-height atrium and pool terrace connection. On the ground floor, the living room and a guest quarter are placed in the east wing; and the dining, kitchen and storage are placed in the west wing. On the upper floor, three bedrooms are placed in the east; and the master bedroom, walk-in dressing room, and master bathroom in the west. On the basement level, we find the auxiliary spaces (laundry, play room, gym) and two extra guest rooms. On both levels the terraces are integrated into the design in plan and volume using formalistic features and the element of water, creating a fluid continuum as well as semi-private pockets of spaces for outdoor lounges. Large wall-to-wall openings have been carefully used throughout the house to maximise internal and external connections, giving the feeling of being one with the beautiful surrounding nature and open vistas, while the overhangs provide shade and protection.
The austere geometry is gently balanced against the Argolis countryside; the all-white colour scheme is contrasted with the colourful regional palette; and the formalistic simplicity confronts the programatic functionality in a distinct yet harmonious juxtaposition.