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Villas in Mani, residential project

Villas in Mani, residential project

Mani, Messinia

Architectural Design: KORDAS Architects, Athens & SQ1-Square One, Copenhagen

Project Manager: Konstantinos Poulopoulos

Design Team: Aris Kordas, Andreas Kangas, Christina Stafylaki

  • 3D Visualizations: SugarVisuals

Villas in Mani, residential project

The villas in Mani, are located in an area of extreme natural beauty and architectural tradition. Mani, the middle peninsula of the southern Peloponnese is an area of unique characteristics and raw beauty. The imposing landscapes of Mani were the main inspiration for the architectural concept of each residence of the project. The villas in Mani were designed in collaboration with the Square One architectural office, based in Copenhagen.

Architectural design

The unique villas of the residential project emerge as stone volumes, with a distinct identity, referring to the iconic monolithicity of the local traditional architecture in Mani. Moreover, morphological elements like the roofs, the openings, the freestanding walls of the villas in Mani, attempt to reinterpret the local idiom in each residence. In other words, an attempt to identify the specific character of the residential project within a contemporary architectural intention.

The entrance to the residential complex is through a path that starts from the main entrance, as if one enters one of the villages of the area. This path identifies with the longitudinal axis of the plot. While ending at an open-air structure, it also serves as an observation point . The panoramic view of the bay, the outdoor space, and the relation with the ground and landscape influenced the villas in Mani placement. Mesmerizing views over the surrounding olive groves and the horizon make this residential project a truly peaceful retreat.

Furthermore, the three villas develop along a communal path. Scattered around the plot, they are a modern interpretation of ruined, stone tower houses. The use of the local stone is dominant in the project, inspired by the rocky mountains surrounding the region. In addition, stone walls define the secret courtyards of the villas in Mani. Lastly, these walls act as a background to a wallpaper full of Mediterranean plants, reminiscing the poem by Yiannis Ritsos, titled “Mani, flower made of stone”.

Exterior space

The terraces, protected by tall stone walls, are private and offer an authentic summer living experience. In other words, the connection with the nature is strong, thanks to the private gardens of each villa, planted with local herbs. The outdoor living and dining areas are protected by the intense sun thanks to the pergolas. These, serve as an extension to the interior spaces of the villas in Mani too. Generous openings on the facades of the volumes, unify the interior with the exterior of the residencies. Smaller openings on the upper floor, stand as a strong contradiction. A reference to the small openings of the architectural heritage of the local tower houses. The swimming pools of the villas in Mani, are a central feature when it comes to experiencing the outdoor spaces. The natural element of the water creates also a comfortable cool breeze, a pleasant atmosphere balancing the sun-drenched conditions of this southern region of Greece.

The natural feel materials throughout the villas in Mani project, integrate the project to its unique environment. Moreover, the material palette used, offers a balance between the contemporary architecture and the local architectural language. The project itself, immerses as a stone construction, out of the topography of the landscape. The architectural language follows a design approach that respects the idiosyncrasy of the region. The design also takes in mind the landscape and the Messinian architectural idiom. The overall aim was to produce a contemporary yet authentic version of the experience of the place and its inhabitance. Respecting the traditional local architecture, the material palette used is a strong connection to the architectural language of the region.

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