The team of architects at OPA designed Casa Brutale, a concrete house in a cliffside. The ‘chameleonic living space’ consists of a swimming pool as the ceiling and a huge facade facing nothing but the sea. We were curious about the idea behind it, whether there were any difficulties along the way as well as their plans for the future. We talked with the two partners Laertis Antonios Ando Vassiliou and Pantelis Kampouropoulos about the project…
What was the initial idea behind Casa Brutale?
In a few words, we wanted to design something that did not exist until that moment. You can see elements of Casa Brutale in other projects, but not all combined in one concept. We wanted it to be simple but breathtaking at the same time.
Why did you choose the area of the Aegaen sea?
We were born and raised in places surrounded by this sea. It is magnificent and friendly, but also very dramatic at times. It was our main source of inspiration, even if the project may not be built on a Greek island in the end.
What would be the most difficult part of setting up a house in the cliffs?
Finding the right type and quality of the rocks would be very important and difficult – it has to be compatible with such a construction. And then you need efficient and reliable engineering. We collaborated with Arup Group on this project, so we know that the project will eventually turn out well.
In general, what is most important to you when designing and planning a new project?
Coolness. It may sound vain, but we never start designing something, if we’re not inspired and challenged in the first place. Our philosophy is that life is too short to design things that people will soon forget. When it comes to architecture, we work a lot on the atmosphere of the project (interior/exterior) and its materiality. These are two factors that can subtly make your project stand out!
1) Build Casa Brutale. 2) The third building of the subterranean buildings trilogy, an atmospheric cliff chapel. 3) An architectural competition for the new Medical Faculty of Cyprus, where OPA will work with a great team of collaborators. 4) A cool, badass cargo-bicycle for the Dutch market. 5) Summer vacation. All these are planned to be developed before the end of the year!