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diopter residence

A clustered residence near Athens, Greece, designed by architect Panos Nikolaidis to frame vistas and secure privacy.

Designed to assure the privacy of its residents, this house could be described as a bunker, massive, imposing and seclusive. A child, though, would say that it is nothing other than the head of a robot! Depending on the background of each individual, it encompasses different meanings. Actually most locals consider it unpleasant to say the least! It’s just a matter of perspective.

 

Actually, this project is a matter of perspective! It is about vistas and framed views. Just like a figurative artist would identify the subject and frame it within the painting, the house is designed to impose certain vistas and block others. Focusing on the distant horizon, it prohibits the viewing of anything located in its vicinity. The buildings scattered in this low density suburban area near Athens form a fabric typical of the city itself. Beautiful from afar, ugly in proximity. Bulk cantilevered walls dominate the building’s facade, forming the shell of a diopter, or periscope, targeting specific distant vistas with indifference to the building’s immediate context.

 

The residence itself is designed to accommodate a modern greek family in constant transition. Balancing on the margin of the traditional extended family and the nuclear family, this residential building accommodates an extended family united under one roof and still split into a cluster of smaller nucleuses. The traditional family structure, including grandparents, parents and children is housed in a manner that allows each one of the 3 generations of elementary families to live together and apart.

 

Architect: panos.nikolaidis.design (pnd)
Location: Attiki, Greece
Date: 2006-2015
Photography: Courtesy of the architect
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