Koutsoftides architects | The Nanou Residence
Looking to refurbish his listed building which was initially built in 1935 and became derelict by 2006 , our client requested an extension into the courtyard in order to accomplish what he had in mind: a house to accommodate his future family with all necessary comforts .To achieve this we had to find a connecting element to be able to join the new to the old building. Traditionally, these types of houses were connected to the upper floor bedrooms by an external uncovered staircase. The living space with the sleeping areas were totally independent from the ground floor and very often the wet room was separate from the main living spaces.
The scope of the project was to give a contemporary function to this existing rural house, that now belongs to an urban area due to the growth of this municipality, by preserving as much of it’s traditional aspect. ”Tradition is not preserving the ashes but keeping the flame alive” Jean Jaures 1910. Another problem we had to face is the neighboring properties that overlook into the courtyard because they are built higher. We do not consider this project complete because:
a. we need to enclose the staircase into a shell in order to physically connect the upper floor to the ground area This space can heat up during the sunny days of the winter, thus facilitate internal temperature so as to minimize oil consumption . During summer time exterior stores will provide shading, thus cooling and
b. we need to create a vegetal screen so as to provide privacy from the adjacent property . Shaded external areas create cool drafts towards the interior spaces, so by means of natural drafts we minimize air conditioning needs and also to create additional shading to the courtyard.
These two latter issues will be addressed when finally the house gets it’s final approval from the authorities. The challenge was to be able to combine the old structure with a new shape that is in contradiction but still creates a dialogue between the proposed and the existing. Copying old building technologies does not lead to anything new but there is a risk of falling into the trap of a historical regurgitation of architectural elements. Modernity should be looking ahead in terms of developing shapes, forms and new interaction between nowadays and our past in order to project new ideas for the future.“Do not ever forget the past, you might need it in the future” said Noam Chomsky. Reproducing the past in terms of architecture can only lead into a nonchalant attitude of a poor architectural vocabulary that becomes so scenographic, thus false!Location:Yeroskipou, Cyprus Architects: Koutsoftides architects
Project name: The Nanou Residence Team: G.Kolonias Structural engineer
N.Nikolaou m/e consultant
Site area: 172m2
Project area:195m2 (Existing house 127M2 Extension 68M2)
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Costas Koutsoftides,Costas Efstathopoulos