M. Goulandris Vacation Home

Kavouri, Attica, 1968-1971

Constantinos Decavallas (1925- )

This is a luxury vacation home designed skilfully by architect Constantinos Decavallas. With its spare elegance and inventive system of natural ventilation and lighting, it constitutes a late but remarkable example of minimalist architecture. It is situated on the Kavouri peninsula on a lot with a marked slope toward the sea. The beautiful view of the Saronic Gulf was decisive in the selection of the site and the northern orientation of the building.
The house is laid out on two levels. The ground floor is an independent home with a clear-cut distinction of functions in two zones: auxiliary spaces and primary living areas looking out over the sea, which are joined together by the use of movable partitions. The lower level houses the apartments of the children, the staff and the ancillary areas.
The horizontal element of the slab over the ground floor dominates the elevations, and on the west side, is the feature of the wood fence which also offers protection from the sun. The materials are bare concrete, large window sashes and sliding wooden shutters.
Among the pioneering features of the time was the application of natural air-conditioning systems and in particular the row of openable skylights in the ground floor slab and the covering of the flat roof with a shallow layer of water so that the building was cooled by evaporation and reflection.