Bodrum is a Mediterranean port-trade settlement in the Southwest of Turkey. The area boasts a rich history of over three thousand years, including Hellenistic times. The venerated scientist Heredot was born there and sculptures by artists including Leochares, Bryaxis, and Timotheos were exhibited there and can now be found in museum collections around the world. The outdated codes restrict new forms of architecture being introduced to the landscape.
To overcome this and create a more flexible building type, GAD created a house made from three separate buildings – a metaphor for a single building that has been “exploded” into many parts. Each individual unit, which complies with the regulatory size of 75 square meters, is built next to one another with a narrow space in between and is linked by a glass atrium. Conceived as a single house, each building has a separate function: a master bedroom and bathroom; a kitchen and dining room; and a guesthouse with an adjacent study room. The central glass vestibule acts as the entrance to the building as well as the main living area with 180° vistas of the stunning landscape and bay made possible by floor to ceiling windows.
Operated electronically, the windows have the capacity to slide open flush to the ground, allowing for sea breezes to flood the interior. This innermost space is the focal point of the house and is connected to the three houses by a series of concrete ramps that reconcile the building with the landscape. An additional slope that can be used as a sun deck and for light recreational activities descends to the contiguous swimming pool located on land set at a slightly lower grade from the house. From here the ramp leads down the hillside to an additional self-contained apartment building that is set within the land and hidden from the house above.
The open-plan of the main house ensures that it is light and airy, a must in the summer. As a secondary precaution, the roof of the building is covered with pools that collect rainwater. The water cascades from the roof of one of the buildings to the other and is then circulated back round, creating a natural cooling system for a hot climate.
The “Exploded House” reinterprets traditional dwellings in the area, yet its angular structure that fits into the clefts in the hillside, remains in keeping with the natural environment and when seen from above the pools mirror the surrounding landscape and the endless vista of the bay and help mask the presence of the building on the hill.