The Root

Program: Holiday Cabin
Location: Zante, Greece
Area: 18 m2

Status: Ongoing
Client: Kasawoo
Builder: Eco Tiny Homes, Tiny Home Greece

The Root is a pre-fab holiday cabin situated on a small piece of ancestral farmland in the village of Vanato on the island of Zante, Greece. Looking to contrast the island's carbon-intensive concrete homes, we aspire to create a simple, low-carbon structure that sits lightly in its surroundings. By designing the building to be prefabricated off site, we were able to minimize construction time whilst ensuring the structure meets all our spatial and technical requirements.

The land has been in Katie’s family ownership for over a century but has been vacant since the early 1950s. Her grandmother grew up in the property before the war, and the house is still standing as a piece of relic to the past. To this day, the property has an active vineyard where raisins are being produced. We fought hard against common practices of demolishing and redeveloping the derelict house. Instead, we proposed a compact cabin packed full with sustainable features that sits lightly on the land, standing in stark contrast to the historic house on site and drawing attention to the surrounding expansive landscapes. The root is a place in which you live carefree and unconfined, in direct contact with the landscape, surrounded by nature and bare necessities.
At just under 20 m2 of gross internal area, our design celebrates the beauty of minimal living and aims to contribute towards contemporary debates around low-carbon living. The orientation of the cabin and the location of openings have all been carefully considered to maximize usability and passive design principles. Two sets of sliding glass doors with large external shutters create a dramatic visual corridor with views across the surrounding landscape. Benefiting from these large openings, the cabin is flooded with light and lives to the rhythm of the seasons. The bedroom and bathroom bookend the east and west end with smaller secondary picture windows framing views. The twisted roof line mimics the mountainous landscapes of Zante and creates an undulating ceiling to accentuate the height of the interiors. The walls and ceilings are lined with sustainably sourced plywood panels that enhance the natural aesthetic. Wood is also used to create built-in furniture, which includes the kitchen units, the bed, and benches with integrated storage. A deck built from sustainably sourced timber extends the northern and southern edge to create a welcoming entry and offer many possibilities to open the house to the surroundings, sun, and air.

The Root is designed and conceived for eco-minded tourists and cultural adventurers to truly experience an ultra-local, low-carbon, off-the-grid, back-to-the-basics living experience without the sacrifice of style and comfort.
Original Conditions:

Other Works

RIBA Chartered Practice. Membership no. 20057934. Kasawoo LTD (UK). Companies House no. 12554432. Unit 44, Spectrum House, 32-34 Gordon House Road, London NW5 1LP. Kasawoo Limited (HK). Company no. 3233516. Ground Floor Unit B, 9 Tai On Terrace, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong 852. © All Copyright 2023.
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