'Olive Tree House' Wins 3 Design Awards

The Olive House by Eva Sopeoglou in Greece is turning heads with its innovative and sustainable design which mimics the shadows created by olive trees and brings them indoors.

Mariana Bisti
Aug. 7, 2017
By Maja Dezulovic
Mariana Bisti

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The Olive Tree House, a small sum­mer retreat by archi­tect Eva Sopeoglou is located in Halkidiki, Greece. Overlooking olive groves and the sea, the house has been praised for its bril­liant sim­plic­ity.

The home has won three awards for its inno­v­a­tive design includ­ing the Popular Choice at New York’s 2017 Architizer A+ Awards, the Best First Project by a Young Architect at the 2017 Domes Awards in Athens, and the 2016 Surface Design Award in the Light and Surface Exterior cat­e­gory in London.

See Also:The Olive Tree House by Eva Sopeoglou Photo Gallery

The client brief was for a small and low-main­te­nance week­end home, and one of the key fea­tures of the design is sus­tain­abil­ity. As such, the project was approached in an eco­log­i­cal way, mak­ing the sur­round­ing trees and shrubs part of the com­po­si­tion. It can thus be said that the design was tack­led from the out­side in. The pro­jec­t’s com­po­nents were pre-fab­ri­cated and can be dis­as­sem­bled at any time, leav­ing a min­i­mal impact on the sur­round­ings.

Mariana Bisti

The wall pat­tern was inspired by the shade of olive trees and the posi­tion of the home is aligned with car­di­nal points so that it gives this fea­ture max­i­mum impact. As the sun moves through­out the day, the shad­ows cre­ated by the tex­tile-like pat­tern move and change, mim­ic­k­ing the nat­ural envi­ron­ment. The east cre­ates col­or­ful shad­ows in the morn­ings, whilst the south­ern sun­light around mid­day cre­ates dra­matic light effects in the main area.

Interior com­fort was achieved by study­ing the local ther­mal phe­nom­ena and winds, as well as cre­at­ing nat­ural ven­ti­la­tion via the sloped roof. The 3 x 7m struc­ture includes sev­eral rooms con­nected by a cor­ri­dor.


The light­weight metal fab­ri­ca­tion was devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Metalso, and the per­fo­ra­tion and folds were made using an indus­try grade sheet metal CNC punch­ing machine. Building the home included exper­i­ment­ing with cut­ting-edge dig­i­tal CAD/CAM tech­nol­ogy. Each metal panel is made from gal­va­nized metal and ensur­ing min­i­mal mate­r­ial wastage. The metal sheets were machine-per­fo­rated, hand-folded, and partly CNC-folded to cre­ate the 3D tex­ture of the walls. Each panel also has a pow­der-coated paint fin­ish.

The olive design of the metal struc­ture is an artis­tic way to bring the out­doors into the rec­tan­gu­lar metal struc­ture, thus blur­ring the sep­a­ra­tion between out­doors and indoors; olive trees are the theme through­out. This makes the home a par­adise within nature, which is also min­i­mal­is­tic. Moreover, the col­ors and design blend into the nat­ural envi­ron­ment, truly cel­e­brat­ing the olive tree by show­cas­ing its won­ders.


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