12 Houses in The Hellenic World

Day Nursery and Pediatric Clinic
Milan 1978-1983

   Built for the municipality of Milan, this facility contains a day nursery for 45 to 60 infants from three months to three years old and an independent pediatric clinic.
   The site is a rectangular gap in the urban fabric of one of the most densely populated areas of the city. It is enclosed on three sides by buildings: the fourth side faces Via Induno, a major roadway.
    From the outset the programme appeared to be at odds with the site. Day nurseries are often located in areas with sufficient open space for recreational activities, and in many instances are part of larger educational complexes. This project was neither. It had to be squeezed into a tight urban void. and respond, in its organisation, form and fabric, to the structure of the city. It also had to serve as an important resource for the community.
    A primary organisational principle was the accessibility of the site. Pedestrian paths link the building to the major streets nearby. A passage in the tradition of the Galleria connects Via Paolo Lomazzo with Via Induno and provides access to both the day nursery and the clinic. Other important concerns were to:
- create a sense of place and 'territory' for the children and minimise the overpowering impact of the tall party walls surrounding the site.
-protect the children from the traffic and noise of Via lnduno
- provide a stimulating visual environment for the children
- make a place that the community could relate to.
    The total area of the site is 1,400 square metres: 50 per cent coverage was permitted by zoning and planning regulations. The nursery and clinic have been placed under a 'blanket' type roof that covers most of the site. A number of cut-outs and rooflights allow the sun to enter at desirable points. The clinic is contained within a two-storey rectangular building with a large stepped room for community meetings and discussions. The nursery school is also organised on two levels, with all the major children's activities (play-eat-rest) placed on the ground floor.
    The spatial concept is based on the adaptation of two independent but interrelated envelopes (walls). The first is a metal skin which defines the overall two-storey volume of the building (under the roof) and establishes a strong relationship with the landscaped patios and playgrounds. The second envelope is a more rigorous geometric configuration in the form of a cluster encompassing all support functions on both levels. Built in concrete blocks, it rises as an independent structure within the two-storey space; a building within a building. Ventilation and light are conducted through tubular telescopic shafts bridging the two skins.
    A two-story double-sided deep wall constructed of 30cm x 30cm glass blocks is placed on the property line along Via Induno. Within it. Niches and openings accommodate a variety of street furniture: post-bows, telephones. fountains, plants, posters, benches and entry gates. Kept away from the building, not unlike the fences or walls of urban villas, it defines three landscaped patios which form an area for visual encounter between adults and children. With its double facade, it symbolises the encounter between the city and the school.
   The project was designed in 1978/79 and completed in 1983.


Masieri Foundation Hostel
Venice 1980

      The adopted programme is a free interpretation of a design originally given to Frank Lloyd Wright, providing single bed-study rooms, day spaces at every level, a breakfast bar area and other ancillary functions. It is organised on four levels, in keeping with the height of the existing building.
     The main reason for undertaking this project was the celebrated and unique historical city itself. Establishing the relationship of a new building to a rich physical and cultural context was a major challenge.
     The presence of the Grand Canal was a dominant factor in the design. The exaggerated frontal loggia and ceremonial access stair running parallel to the canal were developed in order to give a grandiose scale to an otherwise small building. At the same time, this formal configuration attempts to establish a visual relationship with the adjoining building.
     The proposed building is conceived in reinforced concrete and faced externally in reconstructed stone slabs similar in colour to the Istrian stone used extensively in Venice.
     As Kenneth Frampton writes: 'Venice has, in fact. been the prime source of inspiration for most of Koulermos' recent (hypothetical) projects: above all, of course, for his Masieri Foundation Hostel, predicated on the configuration and attributes of an irregular and unique site, even more contextual Venetian than the Recreation Center. Based on a free interpretation of the program adopted by Frank Lloyd Wright in his unrealized proposal for the same site in 1954, Koulermos was to take a rather unusual approach to the design of the palazzo: "The proposal reverses the Venetian residential typology - the pedestrian entrance is located at the front and along the canal rather than the rear. and the access from the canal does not relate directly to the building but to the alley. This resolution was considered more appropriate than the existing plan types, given the fact that the pallazi on the canals are no longer used as initially intended." This deceptively simple design makes a very ingenious use of an awkard triangular site, and in many ways this is one of the most brilliant of Koulermos' entire career...'


Community Recreation Centre, Venice
Design Research Project, 1980

     This design research project was for a community recreation centre sited to the west of the Arsenale in Venice, adjacent to the Church of San Francesco della Vigna designed by Sansovino and Palladio It was conceived during an international workshop conference in Venice in 1980 and further developed in LA.
     The centre provides recreational and cultural facilities for the community. It accommodates three basketball courts, an indoor tennis court and multipurpose hall. rooms for meetings and games, supporting functions such as changing rooms, an open-air skating rink and an open-air amphitheatre and cinema.
     The basketball courts and tennis court are organised in a parallel manner and contained within a rectilinear plan which terminates with the amphitheatre on axis with the canal. In section, the basketball courts step up towards the canal, allowing the space below to be used for community rooms and support functions. Each basketball court is roofed with a barrel-vaulted structure constructed and covered in aluminium. The roof to the tennis court is used as a skating rink.
     Access to all parts of the complex is provided via external ramps situated along both sides of the building. The long, compact plan and the idea for the section were developed as a response to the narrow site The architectural expression attempts to make a connection to Venetian structures such as the salt warehouses and Rialto bridge. The proposed building, conceived in reinforced concrete with metal barrel vaults, is faced externally in locally produced ceramic tiles similar in colour to existing materials in Venice.
     Kenneth Frampton described the prefect in this way: 'A more structurally expressive manner possibly accounts for the varied antecedents cited by Koulermos as the basis for his project for a Community Recreation Centre in Venice... Acknowledged references range from the Rialto Bridge to Venetian salt warehouses, or from Louis Kahn in general to Palladio's Basilica in Vicenza. What we have here is a Rationalist tour-de-force in response to an invented programme and yet what is of most interest, aside from the extraordinary lucidity and lyrical articulation of the barrel-vaulted structure, is the implicit, hybrid-type form which, while a utilitarian building devoted to indoor sport, remains in part, at least, a monument with an open-air amphitheatre on axis, facing out over the canal. For all its rationality, this project has a decided Venetian flavour for the simple reason that the structure of the vaults reminds one of ship-building.

(From Context + Response, exhibition
catalogue. Los Angeles Municipal Art
Gallery, 1982.)


Art Center, Santa Monica
Design Research Project, 1982

     This proposal for an art centre in Santa Monica formed the subject of a design studio at the School of Architecture, USC. The project was of a hypothetical nature and therefore free from actual constraints and conditions; the site was the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Ocean Avenue.
     The programme called for exhibition spaces, lecture/seminar rooms, studios for artists, an open-air amphitheatre for lectures, musical and theatrical performances, dressing rooms, a coffee shop/bar, administration and supporting functions.
     The galleries have been located on the lower levels, to give an elevated podium plaza on two levels above. The amphitheatre is set in the centre of the plaza, facing the ocean. Around it on three sides are studios for artists and a bridge coffee shop/bar.
     Raised 40 to 60 feet above street level, the plaza forms a unique civic space, where splendid views of the coastline and ocean may be enjoyed without commercial trappings. During the day. it can be used by the public independently of the lower gallery levels - it is a space that can bring some of the urban feeling of the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Lectures, concerts and stage plays can take place during the evenings.
     A pedestrian bridge from Santa Monica Mall to the Palisades Park passes through the building in order to strengthen its relationship to the existing context.
     The complex is constructed in reinforced concrete and faced In ceramic tiles the colour of burnt umber. The circulation galleries facing Wilshire Boulevard are clad in glass.
     This was Kenneth Frampton's critique: 'The Art Centre ... is another hypothetical proposal which once again serves as a didactic device. The point is not only to address and involve Koulermos' immediate student collaborators and colleagues, but also to appeal to society at large; to point out what vestiges of our urban fabric may still be sustained if only we are able as a collective body to recognize their extant virtues and to build urban monuments whose prime purpose is to strengthen these values. The most poetic element in this particular design is the public forum and amphitheatre which the author elevates 40 to 60 feet into the air in order to afford spectacular views over the ocean. As Koulermos puts it in his laconic description, 'the plaza a space that can bring some of the urban feeling of the Piazza di Spagna in Rome', but in many respects the panorama here promises to be more ecstatic than the commanding view from the Spanish Steps. The intent here is closer to the exuberant vision incorporated into Le Corbusier's early works, for this is a marine vista across the boundless sea. One is reminded of the prospect of the Alps from the rooftop restaurant of Le Corbusier's Palais des Nations or of the panorama of the Mediterranean from the Corniche of Algiers is no accident that the prime element in this elevated space is a Greek amphitheatre; in fact, the very same form that affords the terminal prospect over the canal in Koulermos' Venetian Recreation Centre. For clearly this element has become the symbolic nexus of Koulermos' thought, the still centre to which we will have to return, if we are ever to recover our lost urban culture.'

(From Context + Response, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1982.)


Cafam Museum, Los Angeles
Design Research Project, 1983

     This is a proposal for a craft and folk art museum located on Wilshire Boulevard opposite the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA and the La Brea Tar Pits.
     Wilshire Boulevard is a typical city corridor of LA in that it has a concentration of high-density commercial buildings juxtaposed with low-density and. in many cases, single-storey homes. Reacting to this. the basic concept of the project was to generate an exciting, dense urban space within the museum itself. The display areas are designed to be diverse in both section and form. They are contained within three towers placed in the central space, and are traversed by circulation galleries which refer to both grid-geometries of the context. The architectural expression of the museum responds to the immediate context and communicates the public nature of the building.


UCSB Art Museum Santa Barbara, California
Competition Project, 1983

     The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the National Endowment for the Arts jointly sponsored a competition for the design of a new university art museum. The existing museum is an integral part of UCSB's academic programme and at the same time one of the most publicly visible institutions on campus, with an active schedule of exhibitions. symposia, lectures and other events directed not just towards students but to the community at large.The museum also encourages use of its programmes by other departments within UCSB and the University of California system. The additional spaces of the new museum were to provide more adequate accommodation for existing programmes while broadening the possibilities for new ones.
    UCSB is located about ten miles from downtown Santa Barbara. The campus sits on an 815-acre promontory on the Pacific seashore and is bordered on two sides by the ocean; the third side faces the community of Isla Vista, the fourth looks across the Goleta Valley to the Santa Ynez mountain range. The campus contains most of the 49 permanent buildings which house the university.
    The new museum covers a total of 18,280 square feet, of which 8,800 are for galleries, 5,400 for services, 3,200 for museum programme research facilities. and 880 for administration.
    The complex is conceived as a single-level. circular 'citadel' 240 feet in diameter. East-west and north-south axes establish the primary and secondary entries and circulation zones, which in turn provide north-east and south-east quarters for the principal gallery spaces The western half contains all gallery service and museum programme research facilities in a crescent configuration. The primary entrance is from the east. through a high linear lobby, which bisects the galleries and focuses on an inner courtyard containing two pavilions, one for administration, the other for the seminar/conference space.
    All activity areas have been organised according to their programmatic requirements and have been clearly articulated both in plan and form. Expansion can take place within the established circular plan without compromising the initial circular configuration. In addition, the proposal allows all spaces to expand independently and in stages to a maximum of 40 per cent, as requested by the programme. It is possible to close or isolate the galleries without diminishing the overall architectural environment, as the complex can be entered through the north and south gates and circulation and all other activities can take place independently. Special attention has been paid to the design of the gallery spaces to ensure an intimate scale and ambience for viewing art. The galleries have roof lights and natural light, which can be eliminated when desired through the use of blinds.
    In conclusion, the project concerns itself with the issues of context, place, display, and above all, with the belief that university buildings should be architecturally exciting, didactic and information-oriented artefacts.


Ca' Venier Dei Leoni, Venice
Design Research Project, 1983

     This project for the Venice home of the Guggenheim Collection was designed in 1983 and exhibited at the 1985 Venice Biennale.
     Three themes were investigated, all of which retained the existing wall and integrated it into new architectural and spatial concepts:
    - an elevated square based on the typology of a courtyard containing diverse towers
    - a building as a water fountain with towers rising above
    - a city or villa in a garden, with the wall 'liberated' and given a new spatial role.
     The last concept was further developed by organising the towers within the compound in a manner that referred to the structure and image of the city.
     The materials used were reconstructed Istria stone for the facing. and glass block for the 'light lanterns'. The verticality of the lanterns was influenced by the lofty chimneys of Venice. Above all. this project was inspired by Carpaccio's paintings.


Research Centre Of Crete and University Of Crete
Heraklion 1985-90

     The siting and organisation of the complex have been determined by its proximity to the first building of the university and by its mediating role with regard to future expansion.
     The first building, a prefabricated system-like structure, addressed only the urgent space needs of the newly formed university. No attempt was made to create a 'place' or even to anticipate growth. This original nucleus will therefore play only a secondary role vis-à-vis the Research Centre.
     The new campus is situated on the outskirts of the city of Heraklion, approximately one mile from the ancient palace of Knossos. Although Knossos is not visible from the site, its presence as a point of reference was established by combing three buildings in a sequential manner along the axis that connects it with the Venetian port and Athens.
     The organisational concept evolved from the need to create a 'civic place' in an otherwise physically disorganised and visually chaotic environment. The strong formal resolution of the complex is intended to set up the process of a more orderly urbanisation not only of the nucleus of the university, but of the area as a whole.
     The Research Centre can be read both as one building and as a cluster of independent buildings with an urban-like intensity. It represents a threshold to any future expansion on the eastern boundary of the site.
     The courtyard building has offices for professors and researchers on two levels and laboratories in the basement. The cluster-galleria building contains computer facilities on the ground floor and administrative offices above. The rotunda building has seminar and meeting rooms on the ground floor and a library above.
     The Heraklion Museum has on display some tiny plaques portraying 'Minoan residential fenestration'. This has been reinterpreted and woven into the elevations of the courtyard building. The formal aspects of the buildings refer to or synthesise Greek and Italian paradigms of building types and materials. In many ways the organisation of the complex evokes the memory of The Renaissance, which Greece never had.
     The complex was designed initially for the Research Centre of Crete and completed by the University of Crete, now part of FORTH (Foundation of Research and Technology. Hellas). The project was undertaken in association with the Technical Office of the University of Crete.


Science Complex, University of Crete
Heraklion, 1986

      This complex, together with the University Hospital and School of Medicine, will constitute the core of the new campus of the University of Crete outside the city of Heraklion. The site is typically Mediterranean in aspect and has splendid views of Crete's major mountain range.
     The first phase of the programme will provide laboratories for Biology, Physics and Chemistry in two square buildings. The second phase will consist of long building with teaching labs and administration. The buildings have been organised along two dissimilar piazzas (avle) which are oriented towards the mountains and the sea. The complex is entered through a gate-like opening created by two back-to-back lecture rooms located in the teaching block, at the point of intersection of the two piazzas. The buildings are connected on the second level by bridges, which in some cases combine with coffee lounges for the teaching and administrative staff. The laboratories have been typologically developed to reflect the nature of the research and above all, to render the working environment as pleasant as possible. Construction is of reinforced concrete throughout.
     In their siting, spatial organization and elevations expression, the buildings reinterpret the Greek classical and vernacular traditions. The strong light of the Mediterranean has generated the deep wall treatment of the facades, which are diversified according to their orientation and location. Above all, a major concern has been the creation of a 'public space' for the university community.
     The project has been designed in association with the Technical Office of the University of Crete.


West Hollywood City Hall
Competition Project, 1987

     This competition project is based on the idea that a City Hall should aspire to generate a sense of place, create a pleasant working environment, end become a symbol for the region. The centre is set along the north-south axis of the site, perpendicular to the strong form of the Hollywood Hills, it provides plazas at different levels, gardens, recreation areas, steps and ramps with shops and studios below.
     The offices of the City Hall are contained within a rotunda building that rises above an elevated plaza. The Council Chamber is expressed as a cube over the atrium of the rotunda. On the roof is a open-air amphitheatre for Council and community meetings. These places, spaces and forms, with their cross-cultural references - American, European, Mexican and Central American -are intended to create a diverse and pleasant experience; to act as a catalyst in an area in great need of such public interventions. The building is conceived in reinforced concrete throughout. The rotunda walls are a combination of marble panels and glass, while the plazas and podium walls are clad primarily in stone and marble.


Nursery School, Los Angeles
Design Research Project, 1987-88

     Nursery schools are often based on schools for older children or even adults, an approach that seems to us both inappropriate and insensitive. For this reason, our proposal puts forward an alternative idea that tries to address the behavioural needs of young children. The overall concept is predicated on the idea of a mini-city within a perimeter perforated wall-an elemental spatial concept that establishes an easily identifiable, safe 'territory' for the children.
     The buildings within are analogous but diversified: an assembly of towers and a long building. Movement between the different levels is facilitated by ramps, and the second level of the towers is connected by bridges to the perimeter wall allowing the children to view the 'outside world' from a privileged position.
     The roofs of the three towers address the natural elements: wind, sky and sun. The wind tower has a metal cube case containing two vertically pivoted circular planes which intersect at 90 degrees and rotate with the wind like a giant mobile. The metal roof of the second cylinder opens like the wings of a bird to give views of the sky and let the sun in. The third has a glass roof through which the children can see a sundial showing the movement of the sun and the passage of time.


Foundation of Research and Technology, Hellas
(Forth), Heraklion 1987-94

     This is the main building of the new FORTH campus and Science and Technology Park. It is situated outside the Heraklion, adjacent to the new campus of the University of Crete.
    The Foundation was established ten years ago under the name of 'Research Centre of Crete'. It was then a research wing operating in close association with the university (most of its founding members are on the Faculty). In subsequent years it has acquired a national and international stature, which is now reflected in its expanded role and change of name, to FORTH. The Foundation comprises seven institutes; four are accommodated in this complex in Heraklion, the remaining three in Rethymno, Patra and Thessaloniki. The centre is the first of its kind in Greece, and its construction has been partly financed by the Mediterranean programmes of the European Community.
    The natural landscape and splendid views of the mountains and the Mediterranean have contributed to the genesis of the concept. As with the other campus buildings designed by the architects, a conscious attempt has been made to establish a strong relationship with the place (topos). Consequently, the four buildings are organised along a street galleria (dromosstoa}. They are, in succession, the institutes of Molecular Bioloy and Biotechnology; Electronic Structures and laser Technology; Computer Science; and Computational Mathematics.
    The juxtaposition of diverse forms seeks to evoke the memory of buildings, spaces and images from the classical and vernacular architecture of Greece and the Mediterranean.
    Three of the four buildings are on the same level as the galleria: the fourth is lowered in keeping with the natural slope of the site so that its roof becomes a large terrace, furnished with an open theatre and pergola. The galleria, 75 metres long and 15 metres high. lies on axis with the mountain range. It is the major circulation and social space of the project - an urban 'connector' structuring a complex based on the idea of a 'citadel-agora' which celebrates, as in ancient Greece, the unity of nature and man, space and horizon.
    The structure is in reinforced concrete throughout. Walls are of concrete and clay blocks with aluminium windows and glass blocks. Floors are covered in marble in the public spaces and special vinyl in the laboratories.
    The protect was designed in 1987 and completed in December 1993. It was undertaken in association with the Technical Office of the Ministry of Industry, Research and Technology and the technical staff of FORTH.


'Eloise' Glasnost Tower
Milan, 1989

     This was a temporary structure designed for Mondatori Publishing Company to commemorate President Gorbachev's visit to Milan on the 12th of January 1989, a pavilion set up on the Cathedral Square to sell books dealing with Russia's political, economic and cultural life.
     The structure celebrated the work of the Russian Constructivists of the 1920's, principally Tatlin and the Vesnin brothers. It formed a tower rising 12m above a 9m x 9m x 3m base. The Three aluminium panels contained within the tower rotated with the wind, reflecting constantly changing images from the surrounding context, including the cathedral.


Conference and Community Center, La Jolla , California
Design Research Project, 1988-93

     The topic of this project has fascinated Koulermos for a number of years- it is linked to the design of the Salk Institute, the collaboration between Louis Kahn and Luis Barragan. And the desire to create architecture with spirituality in this part of the world Koulermos set it as a studio project during his visiting professorship at Columbia University in 1988 and began to work in the area proposed by Kahn. The programme, however, is basically invented and quite different from that of the original design.
     The relationship of architecture to the horizon and landscape has been a great design interest for Koulermos, who feels the strong bond that links the buildings with the horizon - a bond experienced in classical Greek architecture. Italian hill towns, the Greek Islands. And Meso-American pyramids and temples.
     The basic concept is that of a citadel with a strong geometric plan, defining and being defined by diverse spaces and forms. The predominant prismatic form is that of the cube which contains the amphitheatre, offices, seminar rooms, and, on the top two floors, guest rooms. The cube is bounded by a perimeter elevated walkway (passerelia) and traversed, together with the library, by a circulation ramp which is three-dimensionally expressed, echoing in its form the undulations of the terrain.


Visitor Facilities, Alhambra, Granada
Competition Project, Spain 1989

     This was a competition design for new visitor facilities for the Alhambra. The major organising idea was to create a large, open plaza of triangulated form adjacent to the AIhambra and on axis with the Generalife Gardens. The edges of the plaza were defined by raised terraces which concealed underground parking. Its metaphysical aspects were generated in response to the power and spirituality of the Sierra mountain landscape and the form of the AIhambra. Additional facilities were placed in pavilions reminiscent of medieval towers.


Forth Micro-Electronics and Clean Room Labs

    The building contains laboratories and offices and is divided into two sections. Section A is on three levels: basement, ground and first. Section B is on two levels. basement and ground, and accommodates the clean room labs with all the mechanical services on the roof. Construction is in reinforced concrete throughout.
     The project was undertaken in association with the Technical Office of the Ministry of Industry, Research and Technology and the technical staff of FORTH.


Forth Research Offices
Heraklion, 1991

     This building contains facilities for theoretical, non-wet lab research and offices for the Technology Park that is located on the same campus.
     Working spaces are diversified both in plan and form in order to create a more lively environment than is typically found in commercial office buildings. Spatially, the unit relates to the main building of the campus and forms, together with the micro-electronics unit. the gateway of the east-west expansion of the institute. Access to the building is expressed in three dimensions, in the form of a ramp/ colonnade that runs through the administration towers, linking them with the Research Offices. This movement between the buildings continues Le Corbusier's rationale for the Carpenter Centre in a freer yet geometric organisational form. As at the Acropolis, Delphi, Lindos and the Greek Island settlements, the expression of movement becomes a significant element of the architectural and urban organisation.
     The project was designed in association with the Technical Office of the Ministry of Industry. Research and Technology and the technical staff of FORTH.


Greek Pavilion
Venice Biennale, 1991

     The art pavilions for the Venice Biennale express a festive presence-a panegyric iconography They are intended to be both joyful and purposeful. After all, Venice is a city of both fantasy and reality. Adopting forms that evoke the memory of Greco-Venetian culture, they attempt to fuse Hellenic and Venetian imagery.
     The architects have recognised the circulation path of the Biennale campus by providing an additional bridge over the adjacent canal, and activated the site by developing a concept that has spatial and physical relationship with the new bridge as well as with the greater Venetian context. A belvedere/ theatre, rising above the trees and facing the Lido (on axis with Athens), provides an additional symbol of the Biennale.
     It was proposed that the Biennale should remove its fences and open its campus to the surrounding park, so that its buildings might be used by Venetians and visitors throughout the year. A constant link would be formed between the city and this place.
    Three buildings were designed that are independent but interrelated spatially and architecturally. Together, they comprise a micro-urban scheme that is both internalised and externalized, providing diverse galleries as well as outside spaces for the display of sculpture. Building A is a long, labyrinthine gallery for paintings and drawings. Five periscopes (12m high) are located along the path of the gallery to provide a variety of unusual points of view, juxtaposing real and unreel images of the Biennale complex and beyond. Building B has a square gallery for sculpture and the display of architectural objects. Natural light filters into the space through a large opening to the sky and six water cylinders/fountains located along the western edge of the gallery facing the canal. Two electronically operated solar roof panels control the climate. Building C is a Greco-Venetian tower and belvedere/theatre in the sky. It contains three smaller galleries for paintings and drawings, accessible through an adjacent circulation tower. The top of the building is crowned by an open-air theatre propped up by wooden supports All three towers are in concrete, faced with reconstructed Istria stone.


Studio Day Care Centre
University Of Crete, Heraklion, 1991-93

    Situated on the urban campus of the University of Crete, this small building reflects the idea of a single-family dwelling or an artist's studio. The ground floor accommodates a small day care centre for the children of the university teaching and administrative staff. The upper two levels contain technical offices, organised spatially as a double-height volume with a mezzanine. The project was designed in association with the Technical Office of the University of Crete.


Conference Center and Restaurant for FORTH
Second Project, 1993

    The complex contains a major lecture hall for 350 people, a number of seminar/meeting rooms, a restaurant, coffee shop and open-air cinema. This new facility is in response to the dynamic growth of FORTH over the years and its significant role as a research institution both in Greece and world-wide. The various facilities are contained within two buildings placed alongside an open court (or platia) which affords panoramic views of the mountain range. The court will be the main social space of the complex, especially in the evenings, Alongside this space, a major ramp connects all levels of the building with the lecture hall and the rooftop cinema. The restaurant and bar are situated in the second building and are provided with terraces on both levels. The formal configuration and the architecture of the central court refer to cyclic paradigms and, at the same time, evoke the memory of early Modernist architecture and painting (e.g. Corbu, Ozenfant, Nicholson).
     The complex was designed in association with the Technical Office of the Ministry of Industrial Research and Technology and the technical staff of FORTH.)


A House in Los Angeles
Los Angeles, 1998

    Context: A very typical southern California Los Angeleno area with standard 150' x 150' lots visually extremely uninteresting except for the natural features such as the topology and landscape.
: The house is conceived as three "pavilla" sequentially organized alternating with patio areas and garden.
     They attempt to establish a relationship to the street, site and above all to the soft hills of the area that run parallel to the axis of the house. The independence and formal expression of these pavilia offers the opportunity to all the members of the family to identify with their territory; they also generate both a sense of privacy and community as found in an urban environment. Formally, the is a further development of the residential tradition in Los Angeles, in terms of its scale and relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces-additional references are made to other American house typologies in terms of the spatial syntax of the volumes (sequential linear order).
     Materials: Precast concrete blocks, concrete and wood are the major materials of the house evoking the memory of the southern California residential history. The roofs are of glue laminated beams covered in aluminum sheathing.


12 houses for the Gods of Olympus

    The research for the Houses of the 12 Gods of Mount Olympus and, more precisely, those that are represented on the eastern frieze of the Parthenon (work of Phidias inspired by the 28th Homeric Hymn to Athena) started in the later part of 1995, with the intention of investigating the spatial organisation, form and expression of a house for a god and, initially, that of Zeus. After a number of months of contemplation, study and design, I have realised that conceptually a house for a god should not have any relationship to human organisational and functional typologies, morphology and scale. Therefore, with these criteria and recognition of the complex personality, behaviour and multiple faces or transfiguration of the gods, I have tried with the help of God, and of the gods interpret even partially, the character, behaviour and disposition of the various gods, composing Platonic and other polyhedral (solids) forms in space with allegorical references and associations. In other words, the house expresses the personality of the gods. Regarding "the space" in this case it is represented by the cube - for all houses of indeterminate dimensions and scale. The cube also symbolises the entity and unity of the gods in the Cosmos. This work is totally antithetical to the various representations of the gods and their space or environment in painting and sculpture so far...A proposal for a more abstract iconography.

12 Houses in The Hellenic World

12 Houses in The Hellenic World

    The design of these houses, located in different areas of the Hellenic world, represents an extensive investigation of the ways in which a contemporary house could establish a relationship with a place (topos) and its history without resorting to superficial stylistic imitations or to pseudo-cultural references.
    Koulermos' travels to the Greek Islands, impressed upon him the way the numerous older buildings -the small chapels, houses and monasteries - establish a physical bond with the space surrounding them and with the greater natural and human environment. In each case, 'style' has nothing to do with these relationships. To understand better what makes these buildings significant, he began a systematic research into the design of the non-urban house. Primary interest lay in developing concepts that drew their inspiration from a range of sources, from urban to architectural typologies, from myths to poetry. The houses emerged as buildings specific to an idea rather than a function, all of them part of the land loved and respected by Koulermos.
    Four of the twelve houses were professional commissions. The locations of the remaining eight were chosen because of their historic background and diversity, and because of the architect's familiarity with them for each house, was selected a collaborating architect who worked on all stages of the design. Most were ex-students, some were employed in Koulermos' office.
    It is unlikely that one would have the opportunity as a professional to design twelve houses in this highly selective manner. But as an architect and teacher Koulermos considers this work a duty and a debt to a country that has inspired him and so many other generations of architects.

House 1
Near Salmis, Cyprus

Cyprus has had one of the most complex and multifaceted histories of all Hellenic nations. In designing this house, the primary concerns were to allude to this historical complexity and to provide a residence which was a combination of home and workplace- much like some of the older farm-houses on the island. To this end, the architects reinterpreted three building typologies considered appropriate to the owner's lifestyle: the stoa; the medieval or Byzantine house: and the traditional Cypriot house (dihoro)- an evolution of the archetypal house with a front portico and arches, which is itself perhaps an adaptation of the stoa type. An attempt was made to synthesise these three types into a harmonious cluster around an open courtyard. The dihoro establishes a visual relationship with the coastline. Its formal expression, with ramps leading to the roof, is reminiscent of boats both ancient and modern. The six cylindrical skylights over the living space and work space represent the six regions of Cyprus and symbolise hope for the island's reunification.


House 2

This house is predicated on the idea of the urban street flanked on one side by row houses - a reference to the elegant street of the Knights of Saint John in the historic centre of the city of Rhodes. A tower form is organised in a linear manner that relates both to the circulation gallery (street) and the walled garden, another tradition of Rhodes. Here, the garden is complemented by a two- storey loggia extending along the full length of the house.


House 3

he idea for this project is that of a farmhouse on a country estate. Organised and volumetrically expressed as a wall with an attached kitchen tower, it defines an external patio-veranda similar to that of the traditional houses of Sfakia, in which the courtyard (alvi) mediates the various internal spaces. This arrangement ensures a strong relationship between interior and exterior, while the external living spaces acquire an almost ceremonial significance because of the amount of time the family spends outdoors. The house pays homage to the same views as House 3. The form of the roof echoes the silhouette of the surrounding hills.


House 4
Crete B-Heraklion

This house outside Heraklion consists of two interlocking components which recall both the archetypal house and the classical temple - a juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane.
    Its spatial organisation and fabric were inspired by components of the piano nobile of the Palace of Minos at Knossos. There are spectacular views of Mount Psiloritis and the Mediterranean Sea, especially from the roof terrace, which serves as an open-air living room and sleeping porch for the hot summer nights.


House 5

This house is sited on the south-west boundary of Chora, on axis with the monastery of St John and the convent of the Evangelismos. A twin tower, it 'signals' the termination of the urban fragment of the town in this direction, in the same spirit as the old windmills that still stand nearby. The plan and formal expression differ from the typical Chora house in order to establish a different kind of relationship with the surroundings and views.
Nevertheless, reference is made to the modularity of the buildings in Chora and to the undulations of the bastion-like wall of the monastery. The Aegean in general is the main inspiration for this project. The staircases are placed on the north edge of the house; the external stair to the roof terrace picks up the approach path and gives it ceremonial expression. The space in front of the house is to be landscaped in the form of a threshing floor - a reminder of the previous use of the land. Terraces rising like the tiers in an open theatre lead from this level to the house.


House 6

This is a large house combining living and work areas. It is laid out on three levels as a highly articulated volumetric village-like structure. These stereometric shapes are inscribed within a rectangular prism-envelope defined by the architrave-cornice, with both the external and internal stairs weaving through the volumes and connecting the various levels and spaces. Terraces exist at all levels, establishing a strong relationship between the interior and exterior spaces of the house. This open formal configuration evolved in deliberate antithesis to the fortified district of the kastro of Antiparos: it was nevertheless inspired by the strong geometry of the citadel of Paros and the Monastery of Longovarda.


House 7

The major sources of inspiration for the design of this house were the walls on the island of Hydra and the neighbourhoods clustered around its port. Gikas' paintings were also a generating force. The house is essentially an undulating stone wall that penetrates an enclosure inscribed within a square. The wall divides the living areas from the bedrooms, which are located on another level and are expressed as independent pavilions related both to each other and to the overall concept. The roofs are designed to resemble the hulls of boats. The formal expression and fenestration of the bedrooms reinterpret the house facades of Hydra, in contrast to the more contemporary look of the living spaces.


House 8

This is a large villa complex incorporating living areas, a theatre school and studios. The recollection of Euripides' lphigenia was the inspirational force for its design. Here, the spaces, section and form symbolise procession, performance, attendance and drama. Organised on three levels and fronting the Mediterranean Sea. the house is approached from the level of the roof terrace, which is conceived as a piazza extending to the sea. The circular glass block lanterns which bring in natural light can be perceived as temple columns standing upright against the sky, connecting man with heaven. The path that leads to the spaces below is given formal significance, as it traverses the truncated, stepped cone which is both a stair and a stage, evoking the memory of the sacrificial altar. The path links the two sections of the house: the residence and the studios. The openness of the central part, with its stepped, partially roofed theatre, gives rise to the impression of immediate contact with the sea and the breeze.


House 9

The design of this house provided an opportunity to work with a concept inspired by Le Corbusier, who was himself inspired by the architecture of Skyros, in particular the traditional cellular houses with their characteristic mezzanines at the rear of the living area. Perhaps this project repatriates the original idea.
    The spaces of the house are arranged in four connected towers which are reminiscent in section and plan of the Maison Citrohan and Maison des Artisans. This represents an attempt to synthesise a plan-libre inscribed within a volume-form concept which is analogous in its dimensions to the houses of the island.


House 10
Cassandra, Chalkidiki

This house is located on the Cassandra peninsula of northern Greece, which forms one of the three fingers of Chalkidiki, alongside Sithonia and Mount Athos. Placed on a hill 500 metres from the sea, the house commands spectacular panoramic views.It is conceived as a cluster of towers, drawing inspiration from the presence of Greek medieval towerhouses in the landscape; it also evokes the memory of the celebrated dovecotes found on the peninsula, especially at Tinos. The living areas are clustered on the ground level and communicate directly with the terraces outside. The three identically proportioned bed-sitting rooms on the upper level have all been equipped with a toilet/shower and kitchenette to allow maximum user-freedom. The device of the top cornice encapsulating a gable tiled roof suggests the presence of an older house within a new one.


House 11

According to myth, the entrance to the Black Sea was once blocked by the Symplegades or Cyanean rocks, which flanked the mouth of the Bosporus and crushed everything that sought to pass through them. But Jason and the Argonauts, with the help of Hera, finally beat the formidable rocks and forced them to stay forever open. This myth and the closeness, here, of Greece to Turkey, of Europe to Asia, are reflected in the organisation and iconography of the house as well as in the duality of its facade.
    The house is approached by a path that zigzags its way under two frontal towers - a depiction of the two rocks- leading to a grand stairway in the narrow slot between the two building blocks. The stair ascends to the entrance portico, which is flanked by waterfalls. Beyond the portico, the house is arranged around a courtyard which leads to a rear patio and garden. The two main towers accommodate the two-level master suite, the study/library and guest room.
    The architecture of the northern region of Greece and of the monasteries of Mount Athos was a significant influence in the design, as were such archetypal residential types as the Megaron and vernacular houses.


House 12

The extensive travels of Odysseus before he reached his homeland have found expression in this house design, which evokes the memory of an ancient boat. The house, within its external protective shell, is laid out on three levels, with the living rooms occupying the top floor under the vaulted ceiling. The space between the house and the external skin is used for circulation at the different levels. Built entirely of wood, the house is given additional structural stability by the provision of lateral buttressing.