During the historical development of Ayvalık the district of Sakarya (f.k.a Profitis Ilias) was one of the latest additions to the urban fabric. It lies on the farthest upper part of the town, overlooking Ayvalık and beyond. The project site itself is located in the outskirts of that district, in a transitional area where the traditional architecture starts to disappear. A rather informal new building typology with less regard to proportion and ornament exists in close proximity, some of them having even vernacular qualities. The proposed retreat house is an attempt to create a hybrid building intermediating between various polarities which are unavoidable even in strictly regulated regions such as Ayvalık. Some of these polarities are: historical – subsequently built; formal – informal; urban – suburban, decorative – functional, etc.
The new house will be built on a plot which was formerly shared by two separate housing units. As a remnant from the past centuries the old arched gate and the building front on the side street will be preserved. The gate opens into a split level landing which acts as an interface between the two independent three room housing units: The 2-storey upper flat and the lower courtyard floor. A new main entrance from the main street gives access directly to the kitchen area of the upper part. To provide conceptual transparency we won’t be using any barriers between the two units. Thus the premise can occasionally be used as one large flat where one occupant can choose to withdraw to the lower level living room opening up to the courtyard, and the other can climb up to the 1st floor loft and step out to the terrace for contemplation.