The sea-side garden at Saronis (2004-2009).

A project in tandem with innovative modern interiors, structural improvements and major elevation face-lift,  on small 50 year old attached residence and a much older existing structure in disarray quite close to the sea. A man-made small-scale organic sculpture around existing buildings and plantings.

Discrete aesthetic concealment of existing buildings, with planted roofs of volumes, at the lower level, an organic  secluded refuge in a prime sea-front location with a c.150m sea-front shoreline.  Wood & iron custom designed prototypical pergolas in combination masonry fences with sculptural qualities.

A quite secluded private garden was possible thanks mainly to the existence of old 80+ year old trees with massive trunks, most conveniently along the boundary of the area. As no new fence construction was allowed, old but effective existing  fence constructions were retained to ensure privacy in the enclosed garden.

Additional exiting plantings including pistachio and olive trees, noble laurus trees and various ornamentals including a canary phoenix tree in a quite central location, were respected and incorporated in the design. Old angelica plants pruned into tree shape were also quite characteristic. New plantings complemented the old in positions that did not interfere with axial symmetry in the layout of the garden as well as the most important sea views, which were also preserved.

Stone masonry retaining walls, utilizing the quite versatile for garden soft Chios limestone from Thimiana, as well as hand-finished Chios marble paving and same five-cm-thick covering for most of the steps and retaining-wall coverings.  The garden was subdivided in sections with quite different character. Densely planted areas in the periphery, containing also a paved path surrounding the property quite close to the extremities,  areas close to the house for recreation, and terraces with sea-view and a far more extrovert character towards the sea and swimming pool. Parking shaded area for several cars with olive tree primary coverage by the entrance. The lower house was originally elaborately planted at the roof and remained easily accessible from the garden including a small terrace with a chess-board marble design for out-doors playing. The higher house had an iron pergola elaborately designed together with barbeque space and provisions at the roof, and also included dense plantings in  the periphery.

A project implemented under quite unfavourable conditions, as no building additions were allowed due to proximity to the sea while a large section of the enclosed area was no longer privately owned due to proximity to the main public road and no new fencing works were permissible. The designed alterations of the rudimentary poorly constructed swimming pool found on the site were unfortunately not fully implemented, while a fast track economical resolution was devised instead and a deck was put in place instead, with the appropriate contour, as prescribed by the original design. The roof-iron pergola of the higher house, was also not implemented, together with the elaborate plantings that accompanied it. It is unfortunate that the owner subsequently installed extensive solar panels at the roof of the building without the architect’s consent, totally eliminating the initial organically covered building concept, so appropriate in a location close to the sea-side, and most critical, especially when seen from an elevated or distant location.

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