The Hourglass is the largest domestic environment within the broader landscape of Voronoi’s Corrals. Its organization is derived from a parametric manipulation of Voronoi cells to relate specific views to its domestic program. Each cell corresponds to a clearly defined use, be it an exterior courtyard, a shading canopy, a common space, a bedroom, or an auxiliary space.
From the interior the ceilings of each cell folds upwards towards its center point where the ceiling is pierced by a circular skylight. This creates an organic, flowing interior roof-scape.
This spatial definition is emphasized through functional details such as operable skylights that allow for passive ventilation, custom fabricated pendant lights, the expansion joints of the concrete floors and mechanical diaphragms that control the amount of daylight in the bedrooms. More importantly, the organization of the Voronoi cells works to make an environment which creates encounters, making it the social nexus of the entire project.
The rough and weathered stone walls of the house, with their strong and comforting weight, fully encircle it on all sides. Facing South, however, any sense of enclosure disappears, exposing the residence to the full trajectory of the sun. Horizontality prevails, the exposed concrete beams with their shading canopies cantilevering beyond the stone facades and dissolving in front of the uninterrupted panorama of the Aegean Sea.
Each cell of the Corral is planted with a different type of aromatic plant, used for the extraction of essential oils, insulating the roofs and resulting in a pattern that gives a vivid representation of the underlying design strategy while at the same time making the residential volumes blend into its landscape. From above, the main indicator of inhabitation comes from the circular skylights that mark the point which generate each Voronoi cell.
When night falls, the absence of light pollution makes the sky look spectacular, the Milky Way stretching from horizon to horizon. The sound of the nearby sea and fresh smell of its water reaches the house, making its presence felt. Dwellers can appreciate the natural haven they are living in, with its minimal disruption to the native landscape.
Just as the Hourglass Corral’s footprint appears constructed according to a geometrical precision, its plan articulation feels as though it has been hollowed out rather than simply constructed, the building embedded into the landscape. This carved-out quality is emphasized by the thickness of the stone walls and the interior partitions that suggest the atmosphere of an archaeological phenomenon.
Moving inside the carapace of the house, the smooth candid white vertical surfaces, washed by the zenithal light, contrast with the ponderous expression of the exterior enclosure. The rooms witness the passing of time, the moving of shadows and the changing colors of light bouncing off walls and floors.
The progression to the house evokes a sense of ritual: a generous outdoor space, reached through a narrow stone passageway that funnels into a staircase, informs an enticing geometry of level changes and oblique views into the common areas of the kitchen, living and dining areas. It’s a courtyard in the traditional sense, referencing the early Roman impluvium and Greek patio: a communal space at the center of the home, sheltered by enclosing walls.
The three bedrooms in the main house, each with its own private bathroom, are more intimate. A fourth bedroom is located to the north-eastern part of the site.
The ceiling flows and, with its light undulations and punctures, gently accompanies the inhabitants through the rooms. The skylights at the apex of each cell open up creating an effective passive ventilation system, warm air traveling up towards the cones and the circular skylights and bursting out in the summer months. In the bedrooms, a black out device, controlled by a switch near the bed, is placed under each skylight. It is a mechanism that works like the shutter of a camera lens. For ambient illumination, a circular metal disc suspended under the apex conceals a linear light.