This Greek island retreat combines nature and minimalism
Villa Apollon by Greek architecture studio Block722 is a minimalist haven perched on an island hill
Perched on a hillside on the southern edge of the Greek island of Lefkada, Villa Apollo looks out to sea, calmly nestled in greenery. The project, a modern vacation home, is designed to do exactly what the perfect island retreat should – provide a haven of relaxation, combining contemporary aesthetics with timeless materials in a sophisticated blend of minimalist architecture and nature. This is the specialty of its author, the Athens-based architecture studio Block722.
The structure combines a larger main volume that houses the main residence and a secondary structure that contains four guest bedrooms. The two buildings are connected by a selection of outdoor spaces, as a varied landscape of planted areas, cobbled terraces and water features weaves it all into the plot, creating a cohesive whole – a retreat that turns its back on urban life and opens towards the Ionian Sea and its green surroundings.
A studio featured in the 2016 Wallpaper* Architects Directory, Block722 was founded in 2009 by architect Sotiris Tsergas and interior designer Katja Margaritoglou. Both bring together Greek and Scandinavian sensibilities in the interpretation of contemporary Mediterranean architecture that draws inspiration from its context and feels organic, timeless and minimalist. This approach is evident in this project, as Villa Apollon’s low, serene volumes made of natural materials and soft, neutral tones become an effortless extension of its green surroundings.
A ramp guides the visitor to the main entrance of the house. A series of skylights and unobstructed views across the building and across to the sea instantly provide a sense of place – and drama. A concrete construction is complemented by materials such as iroko and teak wood, stone and terrazzo, in an interior composition that celebrates touch. The interior is soft and unpretentious, with floor-anchored elements and low seats connecting the dweller to the earth.
From the main house, a series of paved terraces and a winding, natural path lead down to a secluded little rocky beach below – perfect for that all-important dip. §