Project: Villa Apollon
Architects: Block 722
Location: Vasiliki, Lefkada, Greece
Area: 3,056 sf
Photographs by: Yiorgos Kordakis
Villa Apollon by Block 722
Block 722 has designed the Villa Apollon in Greece. The location of this villa is in the small town of Vasiliki on the southern edge of the Lefkada island. One couldn’t ask for a more beautiful spot to put a villa as it has access to heavenly views from inside, as well as from its infinity edge pool on the deck.
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, effortlessly merges contemporary architecture with nature, making the most of its context, while respecting its green surroundings. 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. All rooms feature iroko wood-framed, floor-to-ceiling glazing towards the water, with the living area including openings on both the rear and front facades. As a result, the interiors are modern, but also feel tactile and richly textured. The floors are either natural stone or terrazzo made locally by a specialist craftsman. A contemporary wooden ceiling made of teak slats becomes a central feature in the living spaces. At the same time, bespoke solid timber doors enhance the overall sense that this retreat is anchored in its site, intrinsically connected to its context.
Stepping in through the front door, large skylines, and a clear line of vision across the living room and towards the sea, instantly introduces a sense of spatial drama. Further inside, the main house contains a large open plan living space, flanked by a master suite and two further bedrooms. Every space is oriented towards the view, has natural light and access to the outdoor, a characteristic of Mediterranean architecture.
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. A secondary subterranean volume hosts four independent guesthouses so that they can be used separately with their own outdoor spaces, and infinity views.