by Jerry ElengicalAug 31, 2022
Can architecture be both stately and down-to-earth at the same time? Can it steal the spotlight while somehow still being serene and discreet? Can it be a contemporary luxury but one that is informed by traditional local materials? Block722's answer to these questions comes in the form of Villa Apollon, a private holiday home that descends over a cliffside on the southern edge of the Greek island of Lefkada.
The award-winning Athens-based architectural studio responsible for the project was founded by architect Sotiris Tsergas and interior designer Katja Margaritoglou. Defined by their seamless fusion of Greek and Scandinavian heritage, the team brought to the project their signature approach of merging contemporary architecture, local materials and a timeless Nordic design sensibility. Framing coastal vistas of blue waters of the Ionian Sea, rocky beaches and green hills, the villa in Greece is a peaceful sanctuary basking in its natural surroundings.
Capturing the essence of the island
The residential design makes the most of its context while respecting its green surroundings. One enters from the topmost part of the site and slowly descends to the secluded rocky beach below via a ramp, the main villa, a separate structure that houses four guest rooms, a series of paved terraces and a narrow, natural path. It is a sensorial overload rooted in nature yet one that is utterly soothing, starting from the green forested entry, flowing through the local textural materials of the holiday home, down to rocky beach that disappears into gorgeous blue waters.
The sloping topography created its fair share of challenges in both the design and execution. The house had to navigate the steep slope, blend in to its environs and make the most of the views from its waterfront location. To accomplish this, the studio created a design that is partially submerged into the earth and follows the natural landscape, which also ensures the villa is nearly invisible from the street above.
Embracing the natural elements
The project incorporates a stone villa with three bedrooms and outdoor areas which included an infinity pool and yoga platforms. A separate structure below, which is attached via stepped walkways, houses four guest bedrooms. With interior design that is purposefully oriented towards the sea, as one steps into the main home, they are greeted by a clear line of vision across the living room towards expansive views of the ocean beyond.
The home has been carefully designed to embrace and be accentuated by natural light. The west facing orientation allows the residents to enjoy the natural light along with spectacular sunsets over the water. The interiors highlight simplicity in villa's design and local materials while the spatial drama is enhanced by a large open plan living area that is flanked by the master bedroom and two other bedrooms, pools, outdoor seating, a shaded dining area and a fully equipped barbeque kitchen.
Contemporary luxury through local materials
Local materials used in both the main villa and the guest house add a textural layer to the contemporary design of the home which is bathed in white and neutral hues. All rooms feature iroko wood-framed, floor-to-ceiling windows opening toward the water while the living area incorporates two openings. The floors are either covered in natural stone or locally-made terrazzo.
A central feature in the living spaces is the contemporary wooden ceiling made from teakwood slats that is complemented by the bespoke solid timber doors. Natural stones wrap the exterior façade that lends an old-world charm to the Nordic minimalism. The bathrooms see sleek, matte black fittings expertly blend with rugged stone sinks. Wood, textured fabrics and almost rustic decorative elements along with a plethora of native plants work to infuse the contemporary design with the warmth of the local surroundings.
Name: Villa Apollon
Location: Vasiliki, Lefkada, Greece
Masterplanning, architecture, interior design and styling: Block722
Total surface area: 284 square-metres
Project duration: 2017 to early 2021
Predominant materials: Natural stones, teakwood, Iroko wood, terrazzo, contemporary mosaic
Design team: Sotiris Tsergas, Katja Margaritoglou, Vasiliki Moustafatzi, Patricia Fakiolaki, Sofia Stefanopoulou, Michalis Grylakis, Danai Lazaridi, Sofia Badeka
Construction: Paleros DreamHomes
- Contemporary Architecture
- Contemporary Design
- Greek Architecture
- Holiday Home
- Holiday Home Design
- Interior Design
- Interior Designer
- Minimalist Architecture
- Modern Architecture
- Natural Landscape
- Nordic Design
- Private Residence
- Residential Architecture
- Residential Design
- Villa Architecture
- Villa Design
- Wood Architecture