PLATAU | PLATFORM FOR ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM
Photos courtesy of Ieva Saudargaite
Zgharta house sits in a Mediterranean olive grove. The site slopes gently to the main road, enjoying an unobstructed view of the agrarian landscape.
The house negotiates inclined topography by massing in two L-shaped horizontal levels that follow the natural terrain: The lower level comprises bedrooms, bathrooms, and technical spaces. The upper level is dedicated to the main living space, dining, kitchen and library. The extrusion of the two horizontal levels creates a third space, an outdoor courtyard which allows the landscape to slide throughout the house.
A u-shaped stone wall wraps diagonally around the two floors, creating an intense outer edge, and a serie of enclosed patios. In contrast, interiors are fully glazed, opening up to the privacy of the patios, courtyard and distant views.
The roof floats over the house with large cantilevers, bringing shade and privacy to the glazed living spaces below; blurring inside and outside.
From the street, the house is perceived as a succession of horizontal walls that fade out in the ground, inscribing the house in its larger geography while giving it privacy from the proximity of the road.
The southern orientation of the house allows for natural lighting, cross ventilation and passive cooling; canceling the need for air-conditioning during the long Mediterranean summer and benefiting from the optimum sun exposure during winter.