Mani Residences

Summer Residences in Mani, Messinia




Architects: Pyliotis Konstantinos, Pyliotis Alkiviadis, Fokialis Evangelos
Location: Mani, Messinia, Greece
Area: 320 m^2

Project Year: 2017
Project Type: Residential 


Status: Commission

The study of the Mani landscape, its particular features and the land’s long history were the starting points of this composition. Every traditional building in Mani is distinguished by its intimate relationship with the land. Its form derives from the unpretentious and rigid structure arising from the principle of the minimal. Stone, wood, and soil are the compositional elements that always follow the spirit of the absolutely necessary, responding to each functional need with the minimum use of material and work.


The main challenge of this project was to maintain the principles of the traditional Mani an architecture, while creating three distinct holiday homes, aiming for the greatest privacy possible.


The linear, southwest-oriented plot is characterized by the steep terrain slope, the entrance at the north end, and the traces of the traditional double “aloni”, the threshing floor, at the south end.


The bold unification of the entrance with the traditional double threshing floor constitutes the first step of the composition. The threshing floor is thus restored and transformed into a communal space for the small residential complex. The visitors’ course in the site is organized as a straight path, parallel to the steep terrain slope, regulating the movements and acting as a “backbone” of the composition’s structure. The dry stone wall is the main compositional element; it forms the primary stopping areas at a lower level than the main course, following the terrain slope.


The residences, both distinct and in direct relation to the visitors’ course, preserve the scale and the dimensions that can be found in the traditional settlements of Mani. The first two houses, which are of the same type, are placed parallel to the course and the slope of the plot. As a counterpoint, the third building block is placed vertically to the course. The course is better defined and framed through the block’s semi-open space, while the opening towards the south preserves its privacy.


In both typologies, we can distinguish the triptych of the Mediterranean habitation; the indoors, the outdoors and in-between spaces. Each typology is developed around the semi-open space, highlighting the importance of in-between spaces to the Mediterranean life, as well as to the structure of each building settlement. 


Through the extensive use of glass, the building volume is released in the semi-open area or in an organized terrace with a small pool near the natural ground level. Large horizontal shades on the buildings’ facades protect them from the southern sun rays, while vertical shades, also on the facades, protect them from the western sun and ensure the privacy of each space. 


The reference to Mani Architecture is evident in this composition. The composition does not attempt its morphological expression as a nostalgic image, rather to reconstruct the values and principles that created it. In this context, the imitation of traditional buildings is avoided. Instead, the composition pursuits the minimum use of material and work to respond with modern materials and means to the functional needs of the contemporary man.


Typology A

Typology B