Is it a salute to the past or a sly nod to the future? London and Brussels-based Lassa Architects designed a hillside vacation home in Greece called Villa Ypsilon, reports Dezeen. The house is surrounded by groves of olive trees in a relatively remote area
“Ypsilon” or Upsilon, is the 20th letter of the Greek alphabet and tradition held it as a symbol of a parting of ways or time of choice. Alternately, it could intentionally resemble an iconic conference room phone.
Whatever the inspiration for its design, the villa’s concrete walls form three equal-sized, earth-covered arms over the 1,600-square foot residence. From the top of the structure, which surely must feel like standing on top of a hill, the choice of views includes distant mountains, farmland, and the sea.
Located on the Peloponnese peninsula, the orientation of the home’s wings was not by accident, according to Lassa architect Theo Sarantoglou Lalis. Lalis and Dora Seijd, another Lassa architect, headed up the project.
“The axis of the vaulting roofs are specifically aligned with the island of Schitza towards the south and a bucolic village on the mountain towards the east,” Lalis told Dezeen.
“Another requirement was to design a layout that activated all the periphery of the building, instead of only favoring panoramic sea views.”
Between the villa’s three arms, open ground floor gravel patios include a broad entrance, a breakfast and lunch area, and an almond-shaped swimming pool with a surrounding sun deck. Each of the three areas has shade or sun at different times during the day.
Villa Ypsilon has two bedrooms, a master bedroom with an ensuite, and a family bathroom. The kitchen and expansive living room have an open plan with southern views of the pool, the sea, and the island of Schitza beyond. The southern patio is the most comfortable area later in the day.
It would be interesting to understand the actual reason for naming the villa Ypsilon. Many observers think first of Polycom conference phones when they see the house, but Polycom did not originate the shape. The upper case of the letter Ypsilon looks like the English letter “Y” and has many potential associations. For example, the letter stands for the Upsilon particle in particle physics. The similar symbol represents mass-to-light ratio in astrophysics — an excellent fit for this residence. Meanwhile, Pythagoras used the letter Upsilon to represent the choice of the paths of virtue or vice.
Regardless of the intentions of the owners or architects, Villa Ypsilon is an artful expression of housing joining and adding to the beauty of the land.
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