Villa Ypsilon in Greece is a 3 bedroom residence with a unique and sinuous form inspired by its name. Designed by LASSA architects, the form is drawn from ‘Ypsilon’ which is the German name for the latin letter ‘Y’.
This peculiar form helps define a clear spatial interrelationship on the interior with functional spaces that retain spatial integrity and offer an enviable living experience. On the exterior, the form appears to be one with the site, rising subtly as a curved, earth berm with fenestration puncturing its sides while residents can walk seamlessly from the ground level, across a gentle slope onto its green roof, able to sit, legs swinging, over any one of its 3 outer courts. The design also employs a number of passive solar design methodologies ensuring optimal lighting and cross ventilation within the villa.
Located in an olive grove in southern Peloponnese, this summer residence is characterized by an Ypsilon shaped green roof that acts as both an accessible extension of the terrain, while framing the most significant views from the inside out. The project was designed by London and Brussels based architects Theo Sarantoglou Lalis and Dora Sweijd from LASSA architects (lassa-architects.com). The roof’s bifurcating pathways define three courtyards that form distinct hemispheres with specific occupancy depending on the course of the sun.
The house is located on the top of a hill which provides vistas towards the bay of Schiza and Sapientza as well as mountain views towards the east.
“The height of the house is limited to the tip of the olive trees to enable its integration with the surrounding landscape.”
-Theo Sarantoglou Lalis
The interior spaces are organized in two main parts: A more private area containing three bedrooms and two bathrooms with views towards the east and a more common area towards the south containing the kitchen area and the living room which provide continuous access to all three courtyards. The circulation through, around and on top of the house forms a continuous promenade comprising indoor and outdoor activities. The form of the concrete shell coupled with the planted roof and cross ventilation strategy provides an environmental response which prevents the need for mechanical cooling systems.
The remote location of the project in combination with the limited budget and non-standard geometry induced a construction strategy that called for a large amount of off-site prefabrication and self-assembly which allowed to reduce the construction time to 7 months without compromising anything in terms of quality or exceeding the budget.
“We decided to buy a CNC machine that allowed for extensive prototyping and the production of non-standard elements. This included the concrete shell formwork, the livingroom formwork/acoustic ceiling, custom window frames, interior furniture and partition systems as well as landscape and pool formers.”
-Theo Sarantoglou Lalis
This ‘hands-on’ approach allowed for a minimal use of commercial ‘off-the-shelf’ products while instead favoring locally sourced materials such as concrete, terrazzo and marble.
Architects: LASSA architects
Location: Foinikounta, Greece
Area: 150.0 sqm
Project Year: 2017
Manufacturers: Xinix, Panoramah!
Lead Architects: Theo Sarantoglou Lalis (Principal) and Dora Sweijd (Principal) with Kasper Ax (associate), Yousef Al Mehdari, Theo Grousopoulos, Thomas Jensen, Valeria Garcia, Nikolaos Klimentidis, Greg Spaw, Luke Tan,Yu Zheng