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New Residential Complex in Athens, Greece Takes on an Unexpected Natural Form

The four independent units make up the wings.


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Nature is often the basis for architectural inspiration. Like a 30-story building in Brisbane that's set to be covered with 20,000 plants. But a proposal by 314 Architecture Studio uses the butterfly's natural shape to inspire the design of a new residential complex developed by VNK Capital in a suburb of Athens, Greece.

Named "The Butterfly," the renderings reveal four independent units situated in a manner that makes each one a portion of a wing of the majestic insect. A central courtyard and stairwell act as the body, with each multi-story unit connected to it. Within these winged units, residents would have a basement, ground floor, and top floor, all featuring curved edges and lots of open space.

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While the curvature is certainly stunning in terms of aesthetics, it also has a practical application. Given the unit's location near the ocean, the curves allow for both unobstructed sea views from the terraces and provide shade for the ground level. Plus, the bend of the wings creates privacy for each unit.

To make the space feel as if it's floating like a butterfly, the designer used a lot of glass for walls to maximize the influx of natural light. Although a special U-glass was chosen, it blurs interior happenings from the outside, adding another privacy level. The modern interior features cement stucco walls, floor, and ceilings to enhance that airy feel.

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You'll also notice several rocks in the renderings that, at first glance, seem to just add a hint of earthiness into the otherwise aetherial design. And while that certainly helps to ground the space, they too function like the complex's curved shape. The larger rocks actually hide certain structural elements and store the glass panels so that only anything in sight is on purpose.

Lastly, the carefully-selected vegetation and water elements surrounding each unit create even more privacy and strengthen that connection to nature.


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