Integration in the landscape, construction with the use of the local soil, and minimal intervention in the plot, are some of the key elements that characterize this project. Elysium Collection Villas combine luxury and a direct connection with nature. They are in Agia Pelagia in Heraklion, Crete, and consist of five earth-sheltered villas with private pools.
Layout design for caved houses
A horizontal slot creates a void in the natural formations of the land and orients the complex towards the view. Moreover, the organic form of the terrain is preserved with the restoration of the existing topography. An artificial cave is carved, a space below ground level, closely communicating with the earth and being protected.
The entrance for the two side villas is formed by means of two pathways running along the edges of the plot, while the remaining three are serviced with separate external stairs and elevators, ensuring privacy upon access. This provides all the villas with an unobstructed view to the sea. Despite the continuous façade, each house is separated and secluded with vertical elements that define individual courtyards. Moreover, the 2m recess in the back of each residence allows for natural ventilation and lighting on both levels. Concurrently, it creates a secluded corner in the house, ideal for moments of serenity and relaxation.
Outdoor area design
The materials and furniture used outdoors are compatible with the natural feel of the soil. Stone, wood, earth tones, vegetation, and the smells that thrive in the area compose a harmonious landscape, consistent with the environment of Crete.
The interior follows an identical approach, with the addition of a unique sense of luxury that suggests a homely atmosphere for winter holidays. The complex provides year-round amenities, with views of the sea and swimming pools turning it into an ideal summer resort. The individual courtyards formed on the east side of the plot extend on two levels, creating a dining area on the first level and a more private lower space, with a seating arrangement by the infinity pool. Finally, on the northeast side of the plot, a belvedere balcony becomes a mystical place where visitors can enjoy the view in all directions.