As lavish birthday gifts go, it’s hard to top this one: Naomi Campbell received an island vacation home for her 41st birthday from her Russian billionaire boyfriend Vladislav Doronin, according to numerous online reports. It’s shaped like the Egyptian Eye of Horus on a location known as Cleopatra Island in Turkey’s Gulf of Gökova.
Spanish Architect Luis de Garrido, who specializes in sustainable building, designed Eco-House Horus to be completely energy, water, and food self-sufficient. As with his other projects, he relied on careful bioclimatic design to solve efficiency challenges.
The resulting dome-shaped house has no less than 25 bedrooms and five lounges. If the world ends, Campbell and Doronin and a few dozen of their lucky friends just might be able to survive.
Campbell and Doronin are small potatoes in comparison to the island’s vastly more famous couple (hint: the island is named after one of them). As it turns out, Eco-House Horus isn’t the first time a grand gesture has been made for a ladylove on this island. Click ahead to see more of this unique home and how it functions, and discover how that long-ago romance might have also changed the landscape of this island.
By Colleen KanePublished 27 September 2011
A representative of architect Luis de Garrido’s firm noted that the structure is “not an expensive house, compared with the level of this kind of house. That is, we can demonstrate that a completely sustainable building [might] be really inexpensive, and also that a self-sufficient building could be obtained by a not too much additional cost (due to a well-studied bioclimatic design).”
Turkey’s Sedir Island, aka Cleopatra Island, has been a resort destination in the Gulf of Gökova since ancient Roman times. The sand on Cleopatra Beach is said to be exceptional, and different from other nearby beaches. Local legend has it that Mark Antony imported the sand especially for Cleopatra herself, who would not set foot on any land that wasn’t Egyptian.
The black outline making up most of the eye design is comprised of photovoltaic panels, which works in combination with the geothermal system to provide all of the energy needed for the house.
This cross-section rendering details how the house stays warm in winter, using heat from the sun and geothermal heat. Glass floors allow the sun to penetrate all the way to the basement.
This overhead-view rendering explains the structure functions as a greenhouse to heat with solar radiation.
This overhead-view rendering shows how the house manages to stay cool in summer without using air conditioning.