CC house, Nicosia
Facades. From Top to Bottom: North, West, South, East
PROJECT: Private house with four miniature gardens in Nicosia
PLACE/TIME: Nicosia, Cyprus, 2015
SIZE: 170 sq.m.
STATUS: Planning Permission
DESIGN TEAM: Christiana Ioannou, Christos Papastergiou
CONSULTANTS: Nikos Kalathas civil eng., Christos Topouzis (eplan) electrical eng., Prokopis Polydorou (polypro) mechanical eng.
COLLABORATORS: Christiana Pitsillidou student of architecture
Many thanks to: Adonis Kleanthous architect, Panayiotis Pieridis architect, Yiorgos Hadjichristou architect, Stelios Makrides for their valuable advices and comments
A house with four secret gardens.
The idea of the secret garden as part of the domestic space can be found in traditional architecture in Cyprus, and especially in Nicosia, where the commissioned private house is located.
Design is based on the idea of the secret garden(s) as part of the domestic life, and in close relevance to the daily domestic routine. Within a 16 by 16 metres box, the house includes the necessary living spaces for a small family: a living room, a kitchen, three bedrooms, and a small play space. At the same time it also includes fragments of nature, which are considered equally important, in the form of four small gardens: three open ones that form buffer zones in between the interior space and the periphery of the exterior wall and one interior garden at the centre of the house. The project also includes the development of a fifth garden in the future on the site where the house sits.
The interior area, which is 150 square metres, can be extended to the exterior gardens bounded by the peripheral wall. The family appreciates the close contact with different bits of nature, however the gardens at different parts of the house also help in practical everyday needs, such for sun filtering, temperature control and airflow control. The different orientation of each garden is selected to provide comfort all around the year. The south garden blocks the sun during the summer months and offers a pleasure exterior space during the winter months. The north garden offers access to the pleasant northwestern wind during the summer months. The east garden filters the pleasant morning sun that infiltrates the bedrooms and provide room for protected extension of the rooms to the exterior . The interior garden lies at the centre of the house and is lighted by a skylight above it. It helps in separating the large open living space in smaller locations and to regulate circulation in the house.
The house inside the rectangular boundary is designed in a binary relationship with the garden outside the rectangular. Views that are generated from within the house are directed towards specific spots where new plants will grow and various elements are planned to be installed in the site, like a sand-pit, a small rain-water pit, a small artificial hill, a fourni and a small pavilion. Although seemingly introverted, the house acts as a views generator towards the different parts of the site, with the help of the frames on the exterior wall of the house: the northern part frames views towards the main entrance, the southern part towards the exterior courtyard and the large tree and the eastern part towards the small orchard garden.
General plan of the house with the four interior gardens and the proposed garden on the wider site
Model of the house