Lanaras weekend house

47th km. on the Athens-Sounion road, Anavyssos, Attica, 1961-63

Nicos Valsamakis (1924- )

This seaside house, a highly influential work by Nicos Valsanakis, is one of the major creations of Greek architecture during the 1960s. It was built for the civil engineer and contractor Alekos Lanaras on a hill with a wonderful view of the sea, and constitutes a worthwhile emblem of architectural minimalism, as it expresses in an exemplary way the modern notions of residential architecture as a synthesis of functionality, aesthetics and advanced technology.
The privileged site of the lot was what determined the central idea of the composition, i.e. the creation of a free reception area that "is suspended" over the hill and has an unlimited view of the sea from its three sides. The plan is organised on a strict grid with a clear separation of functional units – reception, living room, dining room, ancillary areas and bedrooms. The bedrooms are in a separate wing, which is placed at right angles to the central "suspended" space.
The main volume is defined by two thin slabs of reinforced concrete with slim projections resting on thin metal supports, while the vertical fill-in elements are light sliding shutters and glass sashes that open across the entire length of the sides with the view. The free space is treated with stone retaining walls of different height, roofed areas, a pergola and grass covering.