Commissioned to create a low maintenance summer house in Halkidiki, Greece, architect Eva Sopéoglou designed and built this tiny off-grid cabin. Named the Olive Tree House, it can be opened up to the outside and is clad in perforated decorative metal sheeting that fills the interior with dappled sunlight.
The Olive Tree House is very much a weekend retreat rather than full-time home and is located next to an olive grove overlooking the sea, hence its name. With a floorspace of just 21 sq m (226 sq ft), it was designed to be easy to dismantle if required.
Structurally, it consists of a chestnut wood frame and concrete foundations, and is topped by a sloping corrugated iron roof. With all that metal, it's obviously going to get hot in the sun and we wondered if it would get too hot inside. However, its walls open to provide both great views and ventilation, plus the ventilation gained from all those holes in the walls should help. Sopéoglou also told us that the interior layout produces a natural draft.
Creating the perforations and small jutting-out leaf pieces on the walls was quite an involved process and required both a CNC punching machine and work by hand, with lots of time spent prototyping and fabricating. The effect is impressive though and really sets this one aside from other similar projects.
"All building components were pre-fabricated, nevertheless, the design itself carefully considered the sun's position to provide shading and to complement the views," explains the architect in a press release. "The envelope's perforated textile-like pattern is inspired by the shade of the olive trees. As the sun moves during the course of the day the interior spaces are filled with ever-changing shadows."
Like the Koleliba, the Olive Tree House maximizes what space there is by embracing semi-outdoor living. The interior proper includes a bedroom with large storage lockers that serve as room dividers. This area joins onto a small kitchenette and there is also a WC that includes a toilet and sink.
The occupants dine outside on the north-east side of the home. This is the most shaded outdoor area and receives the prevailing breeze from the sea. The shower is outside too, on the south side.
The Olive Tree House runs totally off-the-grid. Electricity comes from a solar panel array, while the toilet is a composting model. Water is stored in a tank and a rainwater capture system is also planned for the future.
The Olive Tree House was completed in 2016.
Source: Eva Sopéoglou