House Symbiosis

House Symbiosis is a double residency with three main levels, that was created to shelter two families in identical size dwellings while redefining the way they are organized in a single building. The project was designed based on the internal circulation, as the main design driver. The design process followed a sculptural tectonic approach, which is reflected in the volumetric massing of the final outcome. The two residencies, give the impression of moving towards opposite directions, while at the same time are bound in one building mass, through a continuous formal language. This curvilinear formalistic approach creates an effect of dynamism and motion in its living spaces. The project is located at the back of a corner plot and it forms an L shape in the plan while leaving the front part as open space. It is designed based on the internal horizontal and vertical circulation and the sequential layout of the spaces according to their functional dependence.

The internal circulation is externalized in the morphology of the facades through directional architectural gestures, with the lower residency to unfold as its spaces are successively accessible, from the northwest to the southwest, while the upper one is in the opposite direction. In terms of the overall organization, the ground floor and the southeast part of the first floor belong to one residence, while the northwest part of the first floor and the second floor belong to the other. On the ground floor and the second floor are respectively the reception areas, the living rooms, the dining rooms, the kitchens, and the utility areas of the two residencies, with all the bedrooms being accommodated on the first floor, which is split in the middle. As for the outdoor areas, the garden and the swimming pool belong to the lower house, while the green roof with a panoramic view towards the three mountains of Athens and the local hill of Filothei, belongs to the upper house. The residences share a communal parking lot and independent storage spaces on the basement level. A core, in the blind rear corner of the plot, allows for easy access either by lift or stairs to all levels. A second set of internal private stairs leads from the central areas of each residence to their respective bedrooms. Each section is accessible by an independent entrance from the main core. To create privacy between the two residencies, the volumetric displacement of the facades per level creates small balconies and cantilevers towards the pool and larger ones towards the streets. Thus, in combination with the tangential openings on the exterior walls, the visual contact between the interiors of the two residencies is limited, while creating views in different directions. A main sculptural element of the project is the design of a ribbon-like geometry with parts of double curvature, which unfolds on the front inner facade of the building. At the same time, with shades of white and dark grey, parts of the facade are highlighted, while giving depth to others.

The building has followed basic principles of green design, as sustainability is a central aspect of the project. This is achieved by positioning and orienting the building, with its back to the north where the communal circulation core is located, and a courtyard to the south, where most of the rooms are facing, to reduce the north winds and allow the residencies to benefit from as much direct sunlight as possible. An important part of the design was the green roof, combined with the garden, to create a green footprint in the plan of the order of 75% of the overall site coverage. The building uses renewable energy sources with the use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling needs, as well as photovoltaics to balance the electricity consumption. The combination of these systems leaves a minimum footprint.


Direction Architects


Year of completion

Athens, Greece

Total area
700 m2

Site area
700 m2

Studio Naaro

Project Partners

Architecture: Direction Architects
Photography: Studio Naaro
Architect designer: John Kanakas
Architect engineer: Kostas Christopoulos
Civil engineers: Christos Tzallas & Panos Christopoulos
Electrical/mechanical engineer: Vasilis Christopoulos
Furniture provider: Avax Deco
Furniture brands: Roche Bobois, Molteni & C, Dedon, Meridiani

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