Home MC Tinos
Volax village in Tinos retains in the historic continuum the colour of its medieval Venetian origin, its mountainous agricultural economy and the art of wickerwork it is known for. Next to the settlement is one of the most renowned lunar landscapes worldwide. Enormous, round granite rocks – the so-called volakes – have been seeding the land and feeding the locals’ imagination over the centuries. Some claim that these rocks are parts of one of the two moons, which in ancient times revolved around the earth. Others believe that the rocks were used as weapons by the Titans against the Olympian gods.
There is belief that such rocks can also be found in Mexico. The construction of a residence in this unique site, in sense of natural and living aspect, was a real challenge. With respect to the landscape, three separate volumes were designed, connected to each other via passageways around a central patio. These volumes house the principal facilities of the residence and vary in height, dimensions and materials. Their placement on the plot is random, almost disorderly, as if they have fallen from the sky. As it probably happened to the round rocks.
The northern side of the residence is bounded by the independent structure, a concrete volume that accommodates the communal spaces. It is an artificial method to protect the space from the Northern wind, made of fair-faced and untreated concrete. The material offers a visual assimilation with the rock while it supports a new concept of timelessness; over time, nature will prevail on the cement surface and the house will be integrated in the overall rocky landscape. Its oblong, rectangular shape becomes a contrasting frame that highlights the roundness of the rocks.
Inside, the structure becomes transparent allowing for unification with the outdoor space. The other two volumes house the living areas and are made of stone, a material commonly used in the houses of the village. The stone volume in closer proximity to the village is the tallest so as to have the same analogy/scale with the village houses; the other volumes are lower in order for the residence to gradually fade out and become one with nature. The three independent volumes are connected to each other via two bridge-like passageways clad in wood.
The buildings embrace the rocks in such way that a patio is formed among them, in the south part of the house, which provides the ideal conditions for the residents’ outdoor living. The old threshing floors and the “kelia” or stables, considered as tokens of history, can be still found in the plot. In spite of the fact that the residence does not adopt the white geometry as is customary in the Cyclades, it constitutes the acclaimed, studied yet innovative evolution of local vernacular architecture. Besides, the gist of local architecture lies not in colour but in structure, volume analogies and in the way that these volumes are placed on the ground.