The 200m² house is located in Colymvari, in the outskirts of Chania, Crete, in a setting of exceptional natural beauty.
The intensely sloping ground and the orientation of the property towards a plain lush with olive groves, provided the basic design principles. The main concern was integrating the new building into the terrain and illustrating the landscape qualities (olive trees, rocks, dry bushes) in an architectural proposal.
The building evolves on three levels, aligned to the terrain contour lines, with access from the top of the property going downwards. The main house is divided in two levels. The master bedroom with its en-suite bathroom is on the top one; the kitchen, lounge, sleeping quarters and bathrooms in the middle, and the bottom level accommodates the guestroom with independent access and outdoor area.
The first design gesture was the stone wall supporting the ground slope, allowing uninterrupted views from its one side for all main functions (rooms, kitchen, lounge) and keeping the secondary ones on its other.
The same wall defines the pathway to the building, integrating the outdoor stairs and creating an entrance to the house.
The resulting building is partially underground and horizontal, and progressively adapts to the ground and the landscape through an array of indoor and outdoor levels. This is further enforced with the bending of the volume, aiming at a smooth integration of the guestroom and its outdoor space into the terrain.
Distinct building volumes are linked under a single roof slab, which acts as shelter for the solid and void composition on the middle level, and more, as outdoor space for the master bedroom.
Moreover, as the house escalates downwards, its only visible element from street level is the planted roof over the garage and the entrance, minimizing the visual footprint.
Outdoor vital spaces, as well as the swimming pool, are organized in successive levels in an organic manner. Rocks and bushes blend into the built space, into the open-air platforms and the access points, composing a harmonious coexistence between architecture and nature.
The material palette follows the same spirit. Coarse terracotta-colored cement facing integrates the outdoor built elements into the landscape. The stone wall provides a background to the main building volume which, through its white plaster facing, stands out from the slope to converse with the Mediterranean landscape.