Area: 1500 sqm
Design TEAM: Marialena Tsolka, Yvette Wolbers, Dimitris Iosifidis
Construction: Ilias Gkousetis, Stelios Kadoglou
Winner of SILVER Residential Interior Award at the BOUSSIAS INTERIOR AWARDS, 2021
Located at one of the signature locations of the Athens riviera, the DPV Buildings a delicately layered, six-storey complex with two contrasting aspects that define its relationship with the coastline and wider urban context. An artistic sensibility is expressed inherently throughout the architecture. On the northern aspect, the minimalism of the sheer concrete facade is broken only a series of delicate aluminium ribbons, dressed with vinyl to appear as wooden elements and designed to rotate with the wind to become a fluid kinetic sculpture. The ribbons are illumined at night and will act as an animating force on the surrounding neighborhood, a graceful piece of public art for the pleasure and delight of the local community. On the south-eastern corner, a similar series of ribbons rise from the landscaped gardens and slowly ripple and undulate towards the ocean to create a vertical green accent to the building. A primary sea-facing south-westerly orientation ensures all the residences are flooded with light during the day before bathing in the beautiful colors of the Athenian sunset. To the north and east the architecture solidifies, shuttering against the noise and bustle of city life and the coastline avenue that lie beyond the site’s boundaries. An organic approach to design is featured on each level, with trees and other mature plants breaking up the massing, and wooden louvre screens on the western elevation further softening the experience of the building both inside and out.
The first and second floor duplex features a double-height living area, intersected by a dramatic suspended staircase, floor to ceiling windows and an expansive terrace with swimming pool. The careful composition and internal arrangement is designed to offer multiple vantage points from which to savour the panoramic views of the coastline and horizon, an emphasis that allows the colors and beauty of the landscape to be projected back within the apartment. The elegant interior specification, designed entirely in-house, features many unique features, such as the hanging fireplace and graceful chimney piping. Bespoke decorative surfaces include wooden panels in the living room and master bedroom mirror the ‘ribbons’ on the external facades, and movable aluminium plates, inspired by the sails of a boat, that scroll from one side to another. In the kitchen, the minimalism of the high-end design is enhanced by screening all cupboards and appliances behind delicately louvred wooden covers. Throughout the residence, a deliberately subtle and understated lighting plan, also designed in-house, emphasizes and enhances the natural beauty of the landscape outside, minimising distraction from the breathtaking views to keep the clean lines and flow of the internal aspects intact.
Beneath its exterior skin, the DPV Building was built using a steel frame, a very different process from traditional concrete construction typically found in buildings of this kind in Greece. This shift from concrete to steel engineering necessitated a re-evaluation of all aspects of the design and build, with the need to learn a new implementation process and methods for the integration of all surfaces, insulation and integrated structural details such as the dramatically suspended swimming pool, one of the most challenging aspects of the project. Despite a highly challenging working environment, the knowledge learned was invaluable and will become integral into the studio’s practice going forward. Of central importance to the design brief was a need to design and specify in a way that could protect against possible erosion from the sea-air and coastal climate, ensuring a longevity to the architecture without the need for maintenance or replacement, and so further enhancing the project’s sustainability credentials. Detailed research was undertaken into materials available to combat this common problem, with coating and surfaces applied where necessary throughout the exterior, including the aluminium ribbons on two of the facades, research that will be repeated and implemented on similar projects in the future.
All our projects are built to the very best A+ environmental standards, with specified construction materials and interior details all meeting the latest sustainability criteria under current legislation. The use of steel construction offers a lower carbon footprint compared to similar scale projects built using out-dated concrete methods and processes. The high volume of glass throughout the DPV Building is all triple-glazed with thermal breaks to ensure low emissions, with under-floor heating and heat pumps maintained using solar panels installed on the roof, moving towards compete energy self-sufficiency.