This Greek island retreat combines nature and minimalism
Villa Apollon by Greek architecture studio Block722 is a minimalist haven of calm perched on an island hillside
Perched on a hillside, on the southern edge of the Greek island of Lefkada, Villa Apollon looks out towards the sea, calmly nestled among greenery. The project, a modern holiday home, is designed to do exactly what the perfect island retreat should do – provide a haven of relaxation, combining contemporary aesthetics with timeless materials in a sophisticated mix of minimalist architecture and nature. This happens to be the speciality of its author, 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 rooms. The two buildings are connected through a selection of external spaces, as a varied landscape of planted areas, paved terraces and water elements weave together everything in the plot, creating a coherent whole – a retreat that turns its back to city life and opens up towards the Ionian Sea and its green environment.
A studio featured in the 2016 Wallpaper* Architects Directory, Block722 was founded in 2009 by architect Sotiris Tsergas and interior designer Katja Margaritoglou. The two bring together Greek and Scandinavian sensibilities in interpreting contemporary Mediterranean architecture that draws on 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 colour tones become an effortless extension of its green environment.
A ramp guides the visitor down to the home’s main entrance. A series of skylights and clear views through the building and across the other side towards the sea instantly offer 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 the touch. The interior feels gentle and unassuming, with features anchored to the ground and low seating connecting the inhabitant with the land.
From the main house, a series of paved terraces and a winding, natural path lead to a small, secluded rocky beach below – perfect for that all-important plunge. §