Talk about blending into its surroundings! This awe-inspiring home in Greece was designed by Iliana Kerestetzi, Konstantinos Vlachoulis, Mixalis Xhrokostas and Manos Kerestetzis of MOLD Architects and takes sympathetic building construction to a whole new level.
‘N Caved’ sits atop (and within) a hillside on Serifos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea to the south-east of Athens, and despite being a beautiful, stylish and spacious residence, its impact on its surroundings – particularly the aesthetic – is what can only be described as minimal.
The team behind the architectural marvel say that because incredible views were required, exposure to the elements was an issue – and the idea for digging in rather than building on was born.
“The need to create a protected shelter, at a location of disarming view, but openly exposed to strong north winds, led us to the decision to drill the slope instead of arranging a set of spaces in line at ground level,” Iliana Kerestetzi explains.
“We applied a rectangular grid to the slope to produce a three-dimensional ‘chessboard’ of solids and voids that accommodate and, at the same time, isolate the residence quarters.
“This strict geometry is discontinued with the rotation of the last axis of the grid, which provides the living area with ample views.”
It’s this shifting of the axis that heightens the sense of perspective, she adds, leaving the imprint of the residence to seem much smaller than the 360sqm of accommodation it provides.
Inside and out, dry stone walls coupled with elegant timber battening provide a perfectly natural backdrop, offset by huge walls of glass that open right up to let the sea views flood in.
Surprisingly, there are rear windows, too, framing inside gardens and ensuring continual air flow through the sometimes harsh Grecian summer. These are also critical for letting in sunlight, which can’t penetrate the front of the dwelling, thanks to those angled walls.
Additional insulation is provided with the planted flat roof, which doubles as yet more opportunity for the place to blend into its surroundings.
Two of the three levels of the fantastically finished N Caved are for the main living and connected via a very cool floating staircase inside, while the third (top) level is separate guest accommodation reached only via external steps. What we wouldn’t give to be a guest in this place, soaking up the views from that pool!
Check out the cool timelapse video of this amazing home coming together: