Taking its cues from the landscape around it, Villa Apollon by Block722 sits on the southern edge of the Greek island of Lefkada. The project, completed in early 2021, merges contemporary architecture with nature, making the most of its context. Planted roof and subterranean building techniques were used to restore the landscape to its original form, with the minimum possible intervention, re-creating vegetated areas with local herbs and plants.
Block722 architects were called to create a private holiday home, joined by a separate structure that houses four guest rooms. The plot is located on a cliffside overlooking the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.
Entering the site from the topmost side, visitors are guided down to the main house via a wide ramp. From there, a series of paved terraces and a narrow, natural path lead to a small, secluded rocky beach below. The house formation does not obstruct the view; it works as a complementary element of the plot, ensuring and revealing the astonishing view. As someone goes through the spaces of the development, there is a game of viewing and non-viewing the outdoor view with architectural planes sufficiently conspicuous for the eye to rest upon.
The site’s inclination was a challenge not only in construction logistics but in design terms too. In order to navigate the steep slope, remain discreet and take advantage of the long views, Block722 created a house that is partially submerged into the earth. The architecture follows the natural topographic lines, which eventually defined the plan and roofline. This not only ensures the arrangement fits seamlessly and respectfully within the landscape and appears near invisible from the street above, but it also allows the interior to be neatly orientated towards the sea views.
Natural materials, in both the main home and the guest houses, complement the plastered concrete construction and nod to the wild Mediterranean vegetation around the site. The outdoor spaces are generously offering a variety of uses, embracing the outdoor way of living. The fully equipped outdoor kitchen placed next to a swimming pool gives onto an eat-in dining area and several seating areas, both covered and exposed to the sun.