Kifissia House

A monolithic house in Kifissia, Greece soars toward the sky while maintaining its bonds with the Earth, making the residence seem a bit like a child’s balloon tethered to its owners wrist. Designed by Tense Architecture Network, the home was defined by its very small, vegetation-filled lot.

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Kifissia House side angle

The architects decided that the clearing should be left as it was and the plants should define the border of the yard. A central column supports a large volume which seems to hover far above the ground. The column also acts as the entrance to the home, which is decked out in minimalist concrete and neutral colors.

Further integrating the home into its surroundings, ropes create a net on which plants are encouraged to grow. As they grow taller, they will create a natural green screen that surrounds the home in the comfort of nature. Eventually, the home will be all but indistinguishable from the plant life which already existed on the lot.

Kifissia House outdoor space
Kifissia House stairs

Special care was taken to ensure that, while natural light is able to get in, the light is not so bright as to destroy the feeling of intimacy and comfort gained by dim lighting. Sliding panels let in the daylight when desired, connecting the inside of the home to the outdoor greenery.

Kifissia House glass
Kifissia House kitchen
Kifissia House hallway

“The shell remains intact towards the main façade. The public image of the residence will eventually recede behind the plants and the house will claim the whole field. The vigorously detached prism lets the sun enter and functions as a shelter: living space lies beneath. When the sliding panels retreat, the merging with the garden is complete.”

Kifissia House terrace

“The space that the elevated prism creates is the main compositional gesture. The manner that this gesture is performed is crucial:  it is the manner through which the hovering prism is supported by the central column. A calm tension is realized, a simple yet clear correlation of forces. The synergy between structural and architectural design gives a residence where the shell is not more important than its field. Those are juxta-posed: one to one.”