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casa katana carves out the cretan terrain
konstantinos stathopoulos | KRAK. architects designed ‘casa katana’ taking shape as a crooked line engraved in the southern cretan landscape, greece. the synthesis was inspired by the unique morphology of the plot and the particular characteristics of the site; the rock formations, its orientation, the climate conditions, and the sweeping views towards the sea’s blue.
the architects sought to fully integrate the residence into the landscape, leaving untouched the beauty of the plot. the idea was developed and engraved in the plot resembling the mark of a sharp yet gentle cut from a katana sword — thus its name. the movement and sharpness of this crooked archetype take shape in the form of a continuous concrete blade that delimits the borders of the residence and provides a broader view in two basic directions.
© konstantinos stathopoulos | KRAK. architects
a futuristic yet minimal structure
all the elements of the composition are constructed in accordance with this carved trace that acts as the backbone of the residence. the components are designed dynamically in concern of the northwest winds that take place in the region and they are sized in a harmonic ratio that provides motion to the whole composition and gives the feeling of a futuristic yet minimal structure.
konstantinos stathopoulos | KRAK. (found here) gave an aerodynamic form to the structure as it was sculpted from the local winds, taking a natural inclination towards the east. casa katana is carefully placed above the rock formations of the site and high enough to provide unobstructed views and privacy at the same time. in order to present excellent thermal and sustainable behavior is partially underground and carefully studied according to the mediterranean-north african climatic conditions, sunlight movement, and orientation.
an earthy-colored palette mimics the surrounding scenery
the basic material is a colored concrete mixture composed of local aggregates. its surface is treated to resemble the palette of the landscape and the texture of the rocks. at the same time, it provides durability, low embodied energy, and minimum possible maintenance. in addition, the colored concrete contributes a monolithic feeling and aesthetic to the structure giving a cave sense to the habitant. the visitors approach the building from the underground, the entrance is transferring them to the interior where a play of light and shadow unfolds in an experience of discovering.
following the trail of the slab, the living areas and the rooms are revealed, offering stops and views. since the cretan climate promotes outdoor living, a large part of the house is dedicated to the outdoor and semi-outdoor spaces in an open layout. window frames open up to a logic of a semi-outdoor transition so that the whole house operates passively during the summer months. the habitant is urged to live and explore the natural beauty of southern crete combined with a unique architectural experience.
konstantinos stathopoulos | KRAK.’s challenge is to design a residence that combines reason and dream. a house must possess the functional character according to the rules of building and bioclimatic design but at the same time must be able to speak to the human soul. casa katana is a refuge in the landscape made of the myths and the soil of the cretan land. as if it were made to live in its bowels a minotaur and the engravings of movements, like another thread of ariadne to lead your way inwards and from there back out towards the light of the libyan sea.
exploring the natural beauty of southern crete
immersive views of the blue’s sea
an open layout
unobstructed views and privacy at the same time
location: crete, aegean sea, greece
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edited by: christina petridou | designboom