Villa at Leivadia in Kissamos
The holiday residence, situated on a rocky hillside in south-western Crete, has a southern orientation, with a charming seaside view.
The volcanic environment, with a large, protruding rock at its centre, was the starting point for the architectural design. The imposing presence of the natural surroundings led to the conscious avoidance of conventional construction, so as to prevent any disturbance to the landscape during the build. Therefore, the use of an assembled metal frame, with a wood and glass shell, was deemed necessary in order to minimize any deterioration to the surroundings by the construction site (heavy vehicles accessing the road, intense excavation, debris etc.). Materials from the surface rock excavation, undertaken for levelling, were used for the construction of masonry walls at the blind, northern elevations of the building.
The residence comprises three private spaces over two levels, with autonomous bathrooms. Due to the private spaces’ large size, the bath and sink benches are located within the main space, to benefit from the southern views.
The open plan entrance hall, living room, dining area and kitchen are at the top level of the building, unified with the outdoor decking, which provides dining and seating areas; accessible via sliding glass panels. There are two water elements (the swimming pool and a decorative water zone) in front of the two bedrooms below; while all terraces are green roofs, planted with local flora and herbs to maximise integration with the landscape and provide a more efficient, bioclimatic behaviour. Partition walls were avoided and replaced with glass, in order to maintain visual connection with the rocky landscape and the indigenous, shrubby vegetation from the building’s interior.