Greece, like several other countries, is well-known around the world as being a wonderful tourist destination, a great place to spend vacations at and a welcoming country overall. It also has a distinctive architectural style with many buildings being defined by a light color palette and a use of natural materials and finishes. We’re going to take a closer look at that today and see what else makes Greek architecture stand out.
The first one we’re looking at is a beautiful residence located in Livadia which was completed in 2019. The design is done by studio PALY architects and the house has a total footprint of 216 square meters. It does however have a very airy and spacious ambiance inside, particularly in the common areas which have direct access to a covered terrace and all the outdoor areas beyond that.
Given the proximity to the mountain and the rocky terrain in this area, the house was built using lots of natural materials, in particular stone. This helps it blend into the landscape and give it this very authentic look. What’s also really cool about this site is the fact that it has a view towards the sea. It’s not that common to have the sea and the mountains so close together but it’s something that a lot of Greek houses get to take advantage of.
Greece has a large number of hotels and tourist-oriented facilities and a lot of them are aimed at offering an experience as authentic as possible while also catering to their guests’ needs. A nice example is the Peliva Nature & Suites which can be found in Magnesia Prefecture. This is a very recent project by studio G2lab completed in 2021. From here you get a really nice view of the Pagasitic Gulf and the hotel puts a lot of emphasis on the scenery and the relationship with the landscape and the surroundings managing to create a very immersive experience.
The extensive use of stone adds a lot of texture and character to this place and both the exterior and interior design get to take advantage of this. Timber, rattan, stone and concrete are all used together to create a warm and welcoming ambiance inside. Although it’s all meant to be authentic and to give visitors a taste of the past, the suites also have a modern vibe in order to be as convenient and enjoyable as possible.
This is The Secret Garden House, a charming summer home situated in the Paros region of Greece. It was designed and built here in 2019 by studio Scapearchitecture. It was created in a way that makes it a part of the environment and helps it be in perfect sync with the landscape around it. That meant using natural and local materials and finishes and finding ways to incorporate certain landscape elements into the actual structure and design of the house.
This is also a very modern residence and you can best see that on the inside. The interior spaces are very open airy, and clean, featuring minimalist furniture and a really nice palette of wrm and neutral colors with the occasional bold accent color. The site on which is was built had a natural slope which was preserved and restored, becoming a part of the design. This is where a beautiful infinity-edge swimming pool placed below deck level can be used as a perfect spot for admiring the gorgeous views.
Villa Mandra is a beautiful holiday home in Mykonos. It was built on an open site with a perfect view of the sea and like many other structures it established a very strong bond with the landscape around it. In fact, a series of large boulders were incorporated into the actual structure and design, one of them serving as a support pillar for the roof. This was a project done by K-Studio in 2020.
The house has bedrooms in total and serves as a retreat, a place where the owners can spend time with family and friends and enjoy the magnificent scenery and the tranquility that surrounds them. The way in which it was designed and constructed encourages the inhabitants to spend a lot of time outside throughout the day. There’s several shaded spots where they can relax and enjoy being outside without feeling overwhelmed by the arid sun and dry air.
The Casa Cook Hotel is located in Chania is a resort-style retreat which combines comfort with luxury and aims to offer a rich and comfortable experience to its guests while taking advantage of the location and surroundings in the best way possible. It was a collaborative project between studios Lambs and Lions and K-Studio. The strategy here was to go for a modern overall aesthetic but an elegant but also laid-back look and feel.
The entrance area offers a sweeping view over the whole site and of the sea, creating a lasting impression. The suites are clustered together like boxes, with exterior walls made of stone and timber and placed along the sloped land, descending towards the sea. The common areas offer a combination of large and small spaces, with airy decors and fresh, tropical influences.
When we think of Greek architecture we also inevitably picture these super white and pure structures that look like they’re made of chalk, standing out against the beautiful landscape and looking over the sea. This house from Antiparos is a good representation of that. It was designed and built in 2014 by architects Camilo Rebelo and Susana Martins. It sits on a piece of land with steep slopes and not a lot of trees which in a way made this project challenging but also offered lots of great opportunities.
The house was adapted to this unique and challenging topography and was built on two levels which interact with the surroundings in fairly similar ways. The main entrance and access point into the house is up at the top. Down below, the rooms have easy access outside and frame the beautiful views towards the sea in an attemp to bring the outdoors in. The two levels have different functions. The top one is actually the main area while the bottom one is a guest volume.
This is another really beautiful house from Mykonos, with a very light color palette all around the exterior. It’s not actually a recent construction but in fact a 30-year old structure which was renovated in 2019 by studio ARP (Architecture Research Practice). Like most other Greek summer homes it enjoys an unobstructed view towards the sea. It’s not just a single volume but a collection of different spaces and extensions which have been added over the years, all complementing each other and creating a very charming complex.
The main objective of the renovation was not to reinvent the way in which these volumes interact or to completely change the aesthetic of the house but rather to make small changes which have a big impact on how this place looks and feels. Much of the house was kept the same but certain elements and features were expanded upon. These changes were made using an array of classic and simple materials which match the original aesthetic of the house and allow it to stand out but also to establish a nice relationship with its surroundings.
Villa 13 is a contemporary house located in Kifissia, Greece. It was designed by studio Parthenios architects + associates and it has a clean and modern aesthetic. It occupies a corner plot with a gentle slope and the design responds to these unique particularities of the land. The building has been organized into three main sections. One of them houses the main living area and a double-height dining room. Another contains the master suite and cantilevers over an outdoor area and the third section contains three more bedrooms.
On the exterior, the design features a blend of crisp white surfaces and dark grey contrasting lines which add interest to the facades yet maintain a simple and modern appearance. This layer of vertical rectangular aluminum bars create a sort of decorative skin around the upper floors of the house. The main entrance is integrated into a facade that’s completely closed off and maintains total privacy from the street. This adds a nice layer of mystery to the building.
Minimalism is also a defining characteristic for this house located in Porto Heli. It was completed in 2017 by architect Sergey Fedotov and it’s surrounded by gentle hills and beautiful open landscape. When looked at from a distance, the house resembles horizontal rectangular box which is actually its upper floor. This area has a larger footprint compared to the ground floor and cantilevers towards the back, creating a sheltered outdoor area.
The cantilevered upper level houses the master bedroom suite as well as the guest bedrooms, each with their own walk-in dressing rooms and spacious bathrooms. They enjoy magnificent panoramic views of the sea and they open onto a covered verandah which connects them together. The ground floor transitions seamlessly outside and overlooks a large infinity edge pool and beautiful old olive trees that frame the backyard.
This summer home from Pyrgos manages to blend in really well with its natural surroundings. Its modern architecture has intentionally been kept simple and modest and the earthy color tones are a perfect fit for this region. The house was designed by studio Kapsimalis Architects and has a rather interesting layout. There’s a lot of depth and plenty of layers in its design despite the minimalism.
The site had a gentle slope which made it possible to emphasize the beautiful views towards the Aegean Sea by following the natural shape of the land and giving the house expansive outdoor areas without obstructing the panorama. The ground floor of the house has a living area, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a bathroom. The upper floor houses three bedroom suites and there’s an additional basement floor where all the storage and service areas are situated along with the garage.
This is Villa Ypsilon, a structure with a futuristic design unlike any residence. It’s an impressive on the outside as it is on the inside but it’s not a very big house. It offers only 150 square meters of living space inside. This was a project completed in 2017 by studio LASSA Architects. The location is wonderful. It occupies a piece of land surrounded by lots of olive trees and it has a curved roof which acts as a part of the landscape. The roof has three pathways that go in different directions and frame three courtyards that get shade throughout the day as the sun travels on the sky.
The house itself is designed to blend in with the land and maintains a low profile. However, its position on top of the hill allows it to capture spectacular views towards the bay and the mountains. Rather than splitting the interior into multiple levels, the architects created two main areas on the same level. One is the private area and it’s facing east and the other contains the common spaces and has access to all three courtyards.
This summer house from Paros has an H-shaped structure and a symmetrical design. It’s also extremely simple, featuring minimalist white facades with tiny openings towards the street and a simple wooden door at the center. It was designed by VOIS Architects and to best appreciate its beauty you need to look at it from the opposite way. The main goal here was to create a seamless transition between the house and the horizon. The proximity to sea helped to turn this into a spectacular retreat.
Inside, a living room with a sunken sitting area has a gorgeous view of the sea through a large panorama window. To create this sense of continuity between the house and the sea, the architects added an infinity pool in front of the living area. It acts as a bridge which extends towards the sea and this create a really beautiful visual effect.