The context

The Village is composed of 15 minimalist villas, using ecological energy systems: solar energy for lighting and heating, rainwater irrigation, waste disposal, solar carports, herbs, and vegetable gardens. The natural surroundings encourage the practice of mountain and water sports, as well as the pursuit of artistic and self-development interests.

Beyond the sustainable theme and the beautiful site, the exercise reminded us of the Case Study Houses competition in the United States. The same idea of designing and building cost-efficient two model villas in an up-to-date eco-technology manner while fitting into the natural surrounding and having to pay attention to all details – from the proportions and aesthetics to the material supplier and the manufacturer – is an exciting process.





Architectural Design

New York, United States


Concept Design

The 15 villas are positioned in a leaf veins-like structure around a central Gathering Space. This volume is also a large villa, with a central inner-courtyard composition, with a restaurant, co-working space, sports, and lounge area for the community.
The two villa models and the Gathering Space each have an open-roof glass heart containing a living tree, in a gesture to celebrate life and to connect each floating structure to the earth.

The community of smart people that will be coming and living in this place, as well as the mountain and water sports, healthy eating, and personal development activities, need a concept that expresses these values and this lifestyle.

The Buildings Design

We used simple Architectural vocabulary and constant proportions to combine the freedom of the open space with rigorous geometry. The black steel structure works as a 3D grid for the entire space upon which we can play with the partitions and modules. Each villa is lifted from the ground on black steel columns by three footsteps, to adapt to the natural curves of the landscape and for a floating effect.

The idea of „the villa” actually is found within its luxurious relationship with the site, nature, and light.
When thinking of the Antiquity villas or the Palladian „Villa La Rotonda” we can grasp what space qualities define this archetype.
Our mountain eco villa wants to be close to the idea of a home: a cozy shelter during all seasons, from summer to winter. Hence, we designed a volume that is black at the exterior by the charred-wood technique and lit at the interior by the natural knotty pine wood texture. The warm interior of each villa is enhanced by the natural light coming through the large glass openings and the cardinal orientation of the functions: S-E for the daytime area and N-W for the nighttime and storage spaces.
Each villa has a reinterpreted porch, with minimal space for deck chairs.

The color-scheme, therefore, uses black – natural pine wood – and earth colors to fit into this mountain and forest surroundings.
We felt inspired by the charred-wood technique and its durable qualities, as well as the local bluestone, and the earth colors, mostly shades of green. Therefore, the design process includes a mood board that explains the interior ambient of the eco-villas.

Key technical aspects

Each villa has a basic 10′ x 10′ grid, with the possibility to have larger openings, if the structure allows it.

The 1-bedroom villa dimensions are 35′ width x 42,66′ length x 10,96′ height (+ the attached porch area, stairs and legs – that are adjustable according to the natural terrain slope – a minimum of 13,86′). The legs are actually the steel columns that continue from inside the villa down on the terrain.

The 2-bedroom villa dimensions are 35′ width x 56,63′ length x 10,96′ height, with the same attached elements and legs height as the 1-bedroom villa.

The inner glass courtyard in the center of the villas has a tree or other vegetation, that is topped with a glass skylight of 10′ x 10′, that can be opened during summer for natural ventilation.

On the access road to the village, there is a parking with a carport. Charging docks are available for Tesla or other electric vehicles. The cars will be parked at the entry of the Village, the alleys between the Villas are dimensioned for walking and other outdoor activities.

From sketch to 3D Renderings

From the beginning, we felt the theme of the project is very contemporary, in the context of the climate-change, polluted cities, and the need of people to reconnect with nature and themselves.
Ecotechnology in architecture is, therefore, a trendy topic and a problem-solving challenge.
From the first hand-drawn sketch up to the final 3D renderings, we tried to express the idea of blending in the natural landscape, while also maintaining the fresh aesthetics of the villas.


This was an inspiring project and a great client to work with! Communication and how the Client and the Architect can create together are keystones in any successful professional relationship.

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