Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Bodrum Houses

Yalikavak, Turkey

2007 -

Composed of twenty-one houses located just outside the village of Yalikavak on Turkey’s Bodrum Peninsula, this project occupies a dramatically steep hillside site featuring views to Yalikavak Bay. The site’s dramatic topography makes each 1-acre parcel unique and provides privacy from neighboring parcels. Five prototype houses will be offered, with each house approximately 330 square meters plus an additional 40-square-meter guest house. For each prototype a detached garage, pool, and cabana are arranged in a disciplined manner on a podium so that overall volumes of the houses remain compact.

While the plan of each prototype remains fixed regardless of its location on the site, the organization of the podiums varies depending on the siting of the individual parcels. All houses are sited to maximize views and to establish an entry sequence that further exploits the views regardless of the siting of the individual parcels.

A clear promenade sequence characterizes each prototype, with an entry drive leading to an exterior entry stair then into the house’s foyer and a double-height living room. Some parcels require their houses to have second-level entries, but the progression remains the same. In each the fireplace chimney is the central organizing element. Each house contains a living room, dining room, kitchen, and powder room on the ground floor; three bedrooms on the upper floor; and media room, laundry room, and three staff bedrooms on the basement level.

A deliberately simple approach to construction is employed: materials are cast-in-place concrete structure with plaster finish, and large areas of glazing. The houses interiors feature a more refined palette of materials including stone and hardwood flooring. Copious skylighting effectively forms a “fifth facade.” The houses are intended to read as a single object on the landscape, giving them a cubic appearance. Therefore, to satisfy zoning requirements for generous setbacks, exterior spaces are “carved out” of the structures’ volumes while remaining under an overarching roof, giving each house a sculptural quality.

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