Vacation Bungalow
redesigning a 50 sq. m first storey vacation apartment

Private commission 2004-05
Client: 5 member family
Location: Eretria - Evia
Budget: 45,000 euros
Photography: Eleni Kostika
One day I received a phone call from a middle aged couple with 3 children that wished to renovate a small 50 sq. m vacation apartment by the sea, in Eretria a small village near Chalkida, on the island of Evia. They explained how much they enjoy spending time there, how convenient it is being so close to the city, as a weekend destination, and described that all in all despite the fact that it is so small, they love spending time there as a whole family.
I accepted the commission feeling somewhat puzzled. I was wondering what I could really do to the compartmentalized interior of such a tiny second storey apartment belonging to a typical 70s private complex of 50 identical vacation houses, to fit a 5 member family and make them happy.
A short journey, involving an hours drive and half an hour by ferry, brings you to this private secluded resort which buzzes with activity in the summer months and feels deserted in neglect in its quiet enclosure in the winter.
I noticed how in such a bizarre way the ferry looks so much like the exterior of these houses, surrounded by this carefully cured lawn carpet by the sea.
The exterior which could not be changed cause all houses are identical, it was like a repetitive projection of this ferry boat crossing the sea back and forth in constant motion. In a very peculiar way my visits to this location gradually filled me with a sense of seductive inspiration.

Ferry    Apartment

I convinced my clients that they should completely empty the apartment of any walls and all the clutter of vacation paraphernalia it carried inside it, and so they did. I proposed then onwards a programme that using a central wall as a dividing element would give them the possibility, to create a series of permanent custom made furniture made of concrete and wood, that would accommodate their activities sleeping, sitting, eating, reading. The only separate room actually being the bathroom (placed near the entrance as the first thing one does returning from the beach is having a shower).
I have to admit my clients were very good and agreed to everything I proposed, all the way to the completion of the project, and the final construction of every piece of furniture.
A big challenge was to find people to make things locally, which meant that my visits had to be very frequent, so I grew more and more attached to this tiny place by the time it was finished, and I called it Vacation Bungalow.
beach    lawn
I spent nearly the whole day there every time I went, during a period of 6 months. It was my once a week escape from the city. Going off in my car every morning felt like going off on vacation.
I guess this project was the opportunity to realize in a very simple way an interior destination for vacation the exterior being the drive, the ferry, the lawn, the views, the repetition, the motion.