Leibal — House with a Garden

OFFICE MUTO

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House with a Garden is a minimalist residence located in Sifnos, Greece, designed by OFFICE MUTO. The courtyard lies at the heart of this design – a barebones yet integral space that stands undeterred by time or change, preserving the core character of the building. The site is marked by its traditional sheepfolds – uncomplicated rectangular structures accompanying diminutive courtyards. These courtyards serve a dual purpose; they provide shelter from the wind while also enlarging the living area for the animals by bridging indoor and outdoor spaces. The site’s uniqueness also stems from an uncharacteristic flatness found seldom in the region. The constructible area on this site has no retaining walls to anchor onto, evoking the poetic sense of a wind-swept plateau that oversees the valley. The site’s traits not only emphasize the architectural significance of the surrounding sheepfolds, but also contribute to the formation of the building’s layout around a central courtyard. This layout not only offers an aesthetic unity but also serves a pragmatic purpose – to shield from intense winds while augmenting the interior living area with a spacious and economical outdoor space that coexists harmoniously with the landscape. Keeping in line with this design philosophy, each component of the project manifests as a straightforward rectangular volume, each one leading directly to the courtyard, negating the need for auxiliary circulation. The landscape, in turn, finds its expression through openings between these volumes, establishing a dialogue between the courtyard and its surroundings.

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