Hidden Greek Island home is submerged into the hillside

A summer retreat hidden amongst olive and pine trees is the latest residential addition to the architectural landscape of the island of Paros in Greece, courtesy of Athenian studio Scapearchitecture

Secret garden house on Greek Island
Scapearchitecture’s latest residential offering, Secret Garden House, sit overlooking the sea on the Greek island of Paros
(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

The sunshade of a small olive grove and a cluster of pine trees with views of the Aegean on a gentle, breezy slope makes for the perfect spot to sit and relax during Greece's many, warm, sunny days. Add to this a sharp piece of contemporary architecture and you get an enviable holiday refuge – this is Scapearchitecture's Secret Garden House. 

The retreat, designed by the young and dynamic Athens-based architecture studio, is located in Faragas, on the southwestern part of Paros Island. Building on a site with a considerably angled terrain and strict planning restrictions was a challenge the architects overcame by semi-submerging the house into the slope. This not only makes for a gentle addition to the picturesque environment, but also allows for a strong relationship between the architecture and the outdoors. 

House semi-submerged into garden slope

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

The living spaces are arranged in a large, open plan room that contains kitchen, dinning and sitting areas, all orientated towards the magnificent views of the green nature and the blue sea. A pergola extends out protecting this space from the intense summer sun, while adding articulation to what is the building's main facade. 

Meanwhile bedrooms, bathrooms and auxiliary rooms are located further into the slope, behind and below the main living areas. This part ‘is accessible from a passageway through the existing olive grove and it is connected with the outdoor living area above through a 2 metre wide stepped ventilation opening,' explain the architects. 

Subtle colours and exposed concrete make the house feel at the same time chic and almost cave-like, effortlessly balancing between architecture and landscape, indoors and outdoors. It is ‘a small refuge hidden in a secret garden, where its occupants can relax and find their inner self, enjoying the pure essence of living in the Cycladic islands,' adds the team.

View out from Garden island house

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

Secret garden house terrace

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

secret garden house swimming pool

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

Kitchen in greek island garden house

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

View of circulation of secret garden house

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)

Bedroom with wooden wall panelling in secret garden house

(Image credit: Ioanna Roufopoulou)



Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).

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