Amphitheater House / Aristide Antonas

Architects: Aristide Antonas
Location: Hydra,
Collaborators: Katerina Koutsogianni & Niki Dimopoulou
Project year: 2007
Photographs:

The amphitheater house is built in Hydra, a traditional small town, situated in the homonymous island, close to Piraeus, the port of Athens. The building was built above the ruins of an older quasi-orthogonal foundation wall but none of the characteristics of the older construction was obviously present when the design began. The project challenges the possibilities of an empty – “construction site” like – living place. The house contains no heavy furniture, its light pieces are considered as a movable group of things, the mattresses and the tables included. A dispersion of the mobile structure of any inhabitation is presenting in the same time it is receiving the specific acts of the house. Because of its distance from the city the house hosts short term inhabitations and these are immediately imposing their own equipped presence. The departure of any group of people leaves the space cleaned up again, empty. The amphitheater house can be conceived as an essay about emptiness, theatricality, vacation and work in the new mobile conditions of the post network society.

One of the most impresive things about Aristide Antonas’s design process is the way he uses handrawings and photoshop sketches. His work is not only architectural work, is the complete work of an artist who loves architecture.

The amphitheatre house is organized around a high ceiling interior. The amphitheater space is in parts more than 9 meters high. The house’s kitchen space and the rooms (that have no stable furniture) are included in a narrow zone in the eastern part of the house. The country house is designed in a rigid way, but it allows many possibilities for different inhabitations. Being situated close to Athens, the house serves as a vacation house and also as a working place. The amphitheater that occupies the central part of the high space, stages a central platform replacing what could be a living room of the house, directing the contacts in the space and also framing parallel sitting gatherings for eventual screenings or work meetings.

The house is proposed as a scene for unimportant small objects that take their places according to every specific use of the empty but characteristic platform that the interior space offers. Different inhabitations of the house are translated in different dispersions of small mobile objects and electronic equipment. In this way, the scene of the play that is the life “performed” in the house becomes a presentation of a thematic dispersion of different objects. The inhabitation is translated to a writing of different things, operated in a “blank”, characteristic, empty platform.

Cite: "Amphitheater House / Aristide Antonas" 17 Mar 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=16546>

20 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Very spartan and very poetic.
    It also seems very introvert.
    No views towards the outside ?

  2. Thumb up Thumb down -1

    It is absolutely thrilling to see Arch. Daily starting to post projects that explore the nexus of art & architecture. This gives me hope that the gee-we-can-use-a-computer-to-twist-a-3-dimensional-solid-into-a-wacky-looking-stack-of-polygons era may eventually end or spawn an alternative theme too.

    What is great about this project is that it is so Greek. One supposes these sorts of spaces to have been made on Hydra for a very long time.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I like it, but It looks kind of depressive. I think it’s because of the sketches and the monochromacy of the pictures, not the project itself.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Thank you for pointing out a project that really explores “living”! It’s refreshing and inspiring and also a good example of how a novel idea can be explored even in the context of a traditional house and traditional aesthetics. It may not be the sort of place where everybody would want to live but it’s important to explore. Good stuff!

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love the hand drawings. Its a lost art in today’s high tech world. Designing with sketches and models before moving to the computer really gives a human element to the design.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Άλλη μια απόδειξη πως ο δρόμος για το “κοινό” και το “κύριο” έχει πολλά κλαδιά να φυτρώσουν ακόμη. Είναι, υπο μια έννοια, το χρέος μας και η μοίρα μας. Μπράβο!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    bravo Aristides..
    as everybody criticizes everyone in the internet.
    one bravo maybe counts.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hmm, just seeing this one….and I am sorry i am not convinced that this is as experimental or profound as it desperately wants to be, unless a tall space and light furniture that can be moved in order to make one self comfortable is considered a radicalism. Don`t get me wrong, I like the building in almost every way the way it is. I am just little let down with the rationale…would prefer a simpler description: landings,triple height space,projections,service areas.done.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I love the rawness about the design and how everything is stripped to its essential elements. The way light enters the rooms adds a sense of drama and depth to the design, which is amazing. Although I must say that it lacks practicality which makes it seem more like an art project rather than architecture.

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