Architects: Simpraxis Architects
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
Architect In Charge: Marios Christodoulides, Christos Christodoulou
Design Team: Christos Pasadakis, Maria Karydou, Stelios Zenieris, Stella Parpa
Construction: Nicodemou & Gavrias
Structural Engineer: Platonas Stylianou
Mechanical Engineer: Kikis Hadjifrangiskou
Electrical Engineer: Loukianos Raftis
Lighting Consultant: Dakis Sevastides
Area: 1,456 sqm
Photographs: Courtesy of Simpraxis Architects
The house was designed for a young couple with two young girls on a site located in the suburbs of Nicosia. The hot and arid climate together with the strong winds of the largely unprotected surrounding landscape became critical elements in the morphology of the project. The building tries to exclude the late western sun and the particularly strong west winds in the region but opens up to the south with the cantilevered roof preventing the summer sun but allowing the warm winter sun to heat the space. Clearstory windows enhance its passive cooling and heating capabilities on the ground floor.
The ability to sustain a comfortable environment and maintain the visual and physical connection with the vast landscape is enhanced by a system of glass sliding doors together with a series of custom-made folded and perforated metal panels. These when closed offer privacy and safety during the day but still allow for views to the south. Their perforations together with the glass sliding doors pushed aside allow for effecting cross-ventilation eliminating the need for mechanical cooling.
The upper floor, which includes the bedrooms and bath areas, shelters from the strong winds and shades the outdoor courtyard from the western sun after midday. The upper floor box is wrapped in vertical planks of wooden HPL. These allow for cross ventilation and exclude direct sunlight. The bedrooms and circulation spaces on the upper floor are separated by multiple folding doors so they can operate independently orbe integrated into a single space. East facing windows on the upper floor facilitate the heating of the upper floor spaces during the winter months. Closing the folding doors that separate the bedrooms from the corridor, an intermediate ventilated space is crated that helps to regulate temperatures during the summer months.
On the ground floor the different uses maintain their functional autonomy but at the same time allow the occupants to experience the whole of the space. The family room is separated by the kitchen in the east with cabinetry that allows access from either side, thus separating the food preparation area but not isolating it from the commons spaces. On the west there is an office/guestroom space that can offer privacy or be integrated with the rest of the ground floor when the exterior large sliding doors are open.