O Lofos [the Hill] is a private house located on the east side of Crete where the landscape grows wild, and the nature is an ever-changing source of inspiration. This side of the island is still quite unexplored, and you can clearly sense the authenticity in the habitants and their way of living. Blending Block722’s inherent Scandinavian sensibility and organic minimalism with local architecture influences, result is a one-of-a-kind design language.
The Architecture behind it.
Balancing the needs of the brief with the natural setting that combines vistas of mountains, plains, and the Mediterranean Sea, was critical in the architects‘ design solution. The architecture was driven by desire to create a modern house that is discreet and respectful to its surroundings. Negotiating the site’s angle through levels instead of steps was also critical in molding a relaxing environment that embraces its setting. A path down a slope from the main road leads visitors to the residence’s entrance. The complex’s size is cleverly broken down into smaller volumes, which are interconnected through circulation routes and in-between spaces – some indoors and some open-air. The main home is divided into two low buildings linked by a semi-enclosed area with a water feature. The design merges natural materials that are often used in the local vernacular, such as wood and stone.
Enhancing slow living.
The powerful Greek sunlight helps define shapes and surfaces, playing with the textured materials, as the architects drew on the feel and rhythm of the context for both interiors and exteriors. The journey of light and the clients’ habits throughout the day led the spatial arrangement inside. Each section and route are carefully planned to support functionality and frame vistas, through visual journeys and spatial narratives that blend inside and outside, the natural and the human made. The design seeks to enhance slow living, taking its cues from the island’s lifestyle.
Block722 collaborated with local craftsmen throughout the construction, applying expert manufacturing skills to a large array of elements in the house. This applies to both high-end architectural details and furniture pieces, the majority of which are bespoke and created specifically with this project in mind, using marble, wood, stone, and terrazzo. All the pieces together form Block722’s ANATA furniture collection. This approach, rich in artistry and locally sourced, natural materials, elevates the design into a truly custom-made residential gem. Neutral, earthy colours dominate, and quality is prioritized over quantity. Artwork was also important in the overall composition and the project now holds an impressive 2.8 x 1.5m sculpture by Greek artist Pantelis Chandris. The specially commissioned art piece sits in the living room, and was developed in parallel to the architectural design, beautifully displaying the retreat’s perfect marriage of scales and disciplines.
Block722 is an Athens-based architecture studio, founded in 2009 by architect Sotiris Tsergas and interior designer Katja Margaritoglou. The team combines Greek and Scandinavian heritage, as well as interdisciplinary experience, and creates work that feels confident, natural, and timeless. The studio undertakes a variety of work, from residential to commercial and hospitality, managing in-hause all stages of architectural development, from concept design, through to construction and delivery. Solutions always incorporate a focus on quality materials, a crafts based approach and collaborations with local artisans and artists that interpret the Mediterranean spirit and traditions for the 21st century. An architectural ethos that places a sense of balance at its heart is among this boutique, yet dynamic practice’s guiding principles. At the same time, Block722’s design solutions are strongly led by each project’s contextual needs and the client’s briet. As a result, the studio has won several high profile awards and has been featured widely in Greek and international media.
Foto Credits: Ana Santl
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