15 October, 2013


Seaside capsules or alternative summer dwellings.Cry

Greek version

Student: Nikki Dretaki
Supervisors: Manolis Iliakis, Natassa Papadede
Advisor: George Buffis
Vakalo Art & Design College and University of Derby
Date of presentation: June 2013



The subject of the present independent study is a summer holiday dwelling that could be product of industrial design. The basic principles in the design were the functional organization and simplicity, flexibility and multifunction as well as the consideration of the particular climate conditions in order to create a pleasant micro-climate around the installation and the smooth integration of the construction in the landscape where it lies. Furthermore, it should be prefabricated and quite easily transported from place to place. The coastal Mediterranean zone is suggested to be the best suitable area for this project.

In order to avoid creating a great volume in the landscape, the domestic functions were spread out in four independent units, according to the traditional Mediterranean architecture, where the shell of the building is split into parts arranged around a courtyard. I.Xenakis' holiday house in Amorgos Island was another project to be inspired by, as regards both the shape of the shells and the way the functions are organized among the units.



The capsules-units are four: a sitting area, a kitchen, a sleeping space, a wc-bathroom. The users are free to choose the number and the type of the units to buy and to arrange their position in the landscape. Thus, a variety of complexes can be created depending on the climate, the orientation, the view and the particular landform of each region. This flexibility ensures protection from the wind and the sun while at the same time produces alternative qualities of living.

Le Corbusier's Modulor system was applied into the planning in order the proportions and ergonomic sizes to be compatible to the human body. Furthermore, by looking for the minimum functional dimensions, the scale of the constructions was shrunk. As a result, those small and flexible units may not have the comfort of a luxury holiday home but serve as an absolutely necessary shell of human activity bringing the occupants in a closer contact to the nature.



The units
Bamboo is the basic filling material of the wooden frame; its long and narrow shape makes easier the construction of the curved units. The curve shell besides, facilitates the air circulation and to some extent, this is to be the physical movement of the human body (as defined by traditional architecture worldwide).

The entrance to the kitchen and sleeping units can be only through the doors. In order not to be interrupted the single line shape of the structures by any windows, the apertures come from the thinning out of the bamboos while part of the floor is elevated revealing the supporting system of the units. That drawing gesture refers to the traditional Greek single space houses and the sofas in particular, that separate the interior into a two-levels space, making thus the act of staying in more interesting.

The long-lasting and warm Mediterranean summers promote the open-air living; this is why the living space and the bathroom are semi-outdoor spaces. Bathroom's bamboo roof filters the sunlight while the large opening of the sitting area is turned towards the current view. The seats there are stable but vary in width and the sliding elements can be used both for storage and additional sittings or side tables.



Brief technical description
A wooden frame was filled by a double row of 2cm diameter bamboos while the roofs and floors were made up by marine plywood. In order to protect the interiors from rainwater, insects and reptiles, the roofs were coated with copper sheets and a mesh screen was placed in between the two bamboo rows. Apart from the bathroom roof that was made by bamboo as well, all the ceilings were insulated with seaweed panels and all the major materials were assembled on various aluminum profiles in red color.

The furnishings are made up of birch marine plywood except for the sliding elements that were painted white, underlying this way their dual function both as storage space and seats or side tables. The doors were also constructed by wooden frameworks supporting aluminum drivers where the bamboos are placed in.

The units are mounted on adjustable bases similar to the scaffolding ones in order to leave the less possible impact on the ground they are placed on, while any reptiles can move freely below. The different sections of each unit can be divided into smaller parts, making easier their transportation from place to place. Moreover, they can be assembled on site by a few persons with no special knowledge requirements.



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