The Ring House is located on the southern coast of Crete only 165 nautical miles from the Sahara desert. Two concrete beams follow the topography of the hill to define the outline of the house. The ring is articulated by these concrete beams. It provides protected shaded areas, well-ventilated interiors, surfaces for solar collection panels and protects an inner garden planted with varieties of citrus trees and edible plants. Altogether, the house and its garden are designed to form a temperate microclimate, an oasis within an intensely beautiful but physically demanding environment.
At a broader scale, the house is a landscape preservation effort. In the past, the topography had been severely scarred by the random and informal carving of roads. The excavation material, extracted during the house’s construction, was used to recover the original morphology of the land. Furthermore, a thorough survey of the native flora was done in order to understand the predominant biotopes in the different slopes in the plot. During the spring, prior to construction, seeds were collected on site and cultivated in a green house to grow more seeds. These were then sowed over the road scars for the regeneration of the flora.
What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
A surprising dichotomy of the Ring House is that it relates to two different scales with equal ease. At the scale of the landscape, it integrates itself seamlessly with the topography and the character of the land. At the scale of the person, it possesses a simple informality that makes it a pleasure to inhabit.
Architecture: decaARCHITECTURE; Alexandros Vaitsos, Carlos Loperena
Design team: Thalia Chrousos, Alison Katri, Giannis Kitanis, Carlos Loperena, Maria Pappa, Argyro Pouliovali, Alexandros Vaitsos
Photos: George Messaritakis
Year of completion: 2016
Location: Agia Galini, Crete, Greece
Total area: 393 m2
Site area: 19.800 m2
Text provided by the architects.