Hill House: A Contemporary House on The Foothills of A Greek Mountain
Greece is generally a mountainous country. In fact, it is the third-most mountainous country in Europe. Given the region’s scenic mountainous views, many residential structures are taking advantage of it. Sitting on the northern foothills of Thrypti mountain within the Greek island’s eastern side is a contemporary house designed by Block722. The “Hill House” is a 280 square meters home on a slope with two guest rooms and generous outdoors areas.
Like in other residences, the environment can influence the design of a house. It often poses challenges for the architect. In this project, for instance, Block722 has to find balance between the needs of the brief and the natural setting that include a range of mountains, plains, and the Mediterranean Sea. These factors were critical to the architect’s design solution.
The project aims to create a contemporary house that is discreet and respectful of its surroundings. It was crucial to negotiate the site’s angle through levels rather than steps to mold a relaxing environment that embraces its surroundings.
Visitors can access the house’s entrance through a path down a slope from the main road. The complex is composed of smaller volumes interconnected through circulation routes and in-between spaces where some are indoors and some are open-air.
Two low buildings, meanwhile, divide the main home. These buildings are linked by a semi-enclosed area with a water feature. The design features natural materials commonly used in the local vernacular, like wood and stone. The atmosphere remains contemporary, blending the architect firm’s Scandinavian sensibility and organic minimalism with Japanese architecture influences. The homage to Japan can be seen through the design’s refreshing simplicity of clean, almost austere lines, balancing the materials’ natural, tactile nature, and overall craft-rich approach.
The Greek sunlight also plays a role in the design of the building. It helps define shapes and surfaces of the house, playing with the textured materials. The spatial arrangement inside the house was influenced by the journey of light and the clients’ habits throughout the day. Each section and route are planned to support functionality and frame the views, through visual journeys and spatial narratives that blend inside and outside, the natural and the human-made. The design aims to enhance slow living inspired by the island’s lifestyle.
The construction process was a collaborative effort between Block722 and local artisans. They applied their expert manufacturing skills to a large portion of elements in the house, including both high-end architectural details and furniture pieces. The majority of these elements are bespoke and customized specially this project using wood, marble, stone, and terrazzo. Collectively, the pieces form the firm’s ANATA furniture collection. This approach elevates the design into a custom-made residential gem because it is rich in artistry and locally sourced, natural materials.
Lasty, the residence holds an impressive 2.8 x 1.5 meters sculpture by Greek artist Pantelis Chandris. This artwork also plays a crucial role in the overall composition of the house. The piece sits in the living room and was developed in parallel to the architectural design. It beautifully displays the retreat’s perfect marriage of scales and disciplines.
Photo By Ana Santl