The mythologic inspiration behind Villa Alphea
The objective of the project “Villa Alphea” by Arestea is to establish a residential unit that seamlessly blends contemporary living with the natural world while leaving a minimal impact on the environment.
Drawing inspiration from Greek mythology, which offers a vast collection of archetypes and symbols that resonate with people and portrays the universal human experiences through nature’s forces, the proposed architecture seeks to embody these phenomena through geometric interpretations – specifically, the derivative of a function.
This approach aims to create a sensory and experiential relationship between the building and its inhabitants, akin to how Frank Lloyd Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York utilized the spiral shell’s shape and motion to emulate a tornado.
The principles and themes that arise from the myth are reflected in the architectural project of Villa Alphea. The design exudes fluidity and dynamism, with interlaced curves and soft edges reminiscent of the movement of water in the story. The structure appears to twist and turn organically, with glass and aluminum materials enhancing the sense of fluidity and transparency.
Water features like fountains and decorative pools allude to the Arethusa and Alpheus metamorphosis myth and reference the Fonte Aretusa in Syracuse. The flowing water serves as a reminder of the cyclical nature of life. The structure creates intimate and connected spaces that are both private and open.
The project name’s singular form reflects Ovid’s naming of Arethusa as “Alpheias,” representing the unity of the amorous couple. The villa’s garden and planted terraces evoke the Garden of the Hesperides, a mythical garden in Greek mythology said to be located at the world’s western edge, beyond the Atlas Mountains.
It was home to a tree with golden apples guarded by the serpent Ladon and nymphs of evening and golden light of sunsets, the “Daughters of the Evening” or “Nymphs of the West,” called the Hesperides. Arethusa was one of them. The golden apples were a gift from Gaia to Hera on her wedding day to Zeus and were considered so valuable that Heracles had to retrieve them as one of his Twelve Labours.
The myth of the Garden of Hesperides has been interpreted in many ways, but one prevailing idea is that it represents a utopian paradise – a perfect world of abundance, beauty, and harmony. The garden’s golden apples, symbols of eternal life and the pursuit of immortality, have been a recurring theme in mythology and literature.
Inspired by this mythical place, the Villa Alphea yard seeks to capture its essence and bring it to life in a tangible way. Lush greenery, vibrant colors, and curved lines create an idyllic space that induces tranquility and peace. The sound of flowing water from the fountain fills the air, creating a calming and serene atmosphere for residents to connect with nature and find respite from the strains of everyday life.
Located in the Tsavkisi neighborhood of Tbilisi Mtatsminda District, Georgia, the site covers an area of 1001 sq.m. and is a sloped terrain plot. The site borders the road on the southeast side and other parcels on the other sides. Currently, the site contains no plants except wild grass.
Pedestrian and vehicle entrances are placed on the road side, with a driveway surface consisting of grass water-permeable pavers. The building entrance at the upper level is connected to the driveway through a serpentine made from grass pavers, reminiscent of the serpent Ladon. The majority of the site area (~80%) is reserved for greenery, including grass cover, grass pavement, and decorative deciduous and coniferous shrubs and trees.
The Villa Alphea is spread out over three levels, with the ground floor starting at a height of +1028.60 m above sea level. At the -4.00 mark, you’ll find the garage, lounge, kitchen, W.C., and two storage rooms. The living space, kitchen-dining room, laundry, wardrobe, study, W.C., and a lovely planted terrace are located at the ±0.00 mark. Moving up to the +3.30 mark, you’ll find three bedrooms with bathrooms, wardrobes, and balconies. These rooms are connected by corridors and staircases.
To beautify the exterior, the villa has been clad with high-quality decorative plaster. Additionally, the white aluminum frame glazing offers breathtaking views, while glass railings on the terrace and balconies create an even more picturesque setting with the addition of ornamental plants.