Location: Zakynthos, Greece
Architects: OLIVIER DWEK ARCHITECTURES
Photo © Serge Anton
Kefallinia. Cephalonia. The island was even described by Homer in ancient times. Its backbone culminates in a peak 1,628m high, in the midst of the Ionian Sea. Seen from the mainland, it surges out of the blue depths in an intense light, often coiffed with a veil of clouds. So when the opportunity arose to build a house facing this spectacle, the choice was obvious. The subject would of course be the island, framed by the house. From the initial sketches until its completion, the plans were developed around the view. From the terraces, the sitting room, the dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms, the living space was oriented towards this fascinating seascape, which the architecture emphasises, making it even more theatrical.
In Greece, people live in the sunshine. Here we also have to accommodate the wind off the sea, from which the house had to be sheltered, as it clings to the hillside. Once this precaution was taken, the boundaries between interior and exterior became blurred. Immense sliding doors open the sitting and dining rooms onto the patio, thereby forming two covered terraces. Facing the Klein blue of the sea, the white rendering sparkles like the foam on the waves. Its chromatic contrast evokes the traditional houses of the Cyclades. Olivier Dwek reasserts this reference, convinced also of the need to draw inspiration from the history of vernacular architecture to fit harmoniously into our contemporary time.
OLIVIER DWEK ARCHITECTURES
All images courtesy of Olivier Dwek Architectures
Olivier Dwek Architectures
Olivier Dwek, of British origin, was born in Brussels in 1970. An early passion for visual arts led him to study at the Academy of Fine Arts, before entering the Victor Horta Faculty of Architecture at the Free University of Brussels in 1990. As an apprentice at Art & Build, a well-known Brussels firm specialising in large-scale projects, the gifted architect began to receive his first major assignments in 1997. Three years later, Olivier Dwek had set up his own architecture firm, in the heart of the European capital.
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