Who can resist an afternoon nap in dappled sunlight? Sleeping beneath a tree canopy can be wonderful but not always practical, so architect Eva Sopéoglou found a clever way to recreate the dramatic light effects indoors year-round. Inspired by ecological principles, Sopéoglou designed the Olive Tree House, a small prefabricated summer house in Halkidiki, Greece with metal textile-like cladding perforated with leaf patterns.
Set on an olive grove hill overlooking the sea and nearby Mount Athos, the Olive Tree House is an experimental, bare-bones summer retreat. To minimize the building’s environmental footprint and waste, Sopéoglou used prefabricated and moveable building components. The 21-square-meter home is wrapped in a lightweight metallic surface perforated with a textile-like pattern inspired by the shade of olive trees. The metallic walls open up and expand the living space to the outdoors, while the interior is bathed in an ever-changing play of light and shadow.
“This building forms part of an enquiry into sustainability and the provision for human comfort in architecture, by questioning the definition of inside and outside inhabitable space,” wrote Sopéoglou.
The Olive Tree House was oriented to the cardinal points and carefully placed following several site studies to optimize views, natural ventilation, lighting, and the creation of interesting shadows throughout the day. The home’s metallic textile-like cladding was developed in collaboration with metal fabricator METALSO using a CNC punching machine.
Images © Mariana Bisti