submerged volumes and planted roofs integrate these houses into the greek coastline

Feb 25, 2021

A2 architects combines above-ground constructions with submerged volumes for this residential project in the greek village of tolo. the complex comprises three separate dwellings that are built one after another down a sloping site overlooking the argolic gulf. the architectural design seeks to respect the natural surroundings while providing residents with unobstructed sea views.

images by yiorgos kordakis

the entire site measures 6500 m2 and at the highest point sits the above-ground villa. it’s a single-story house defined by two different volumes separated by a patio. the volume with the sloping roof contains the living areas while the second volume, placed perpendicular to the first, houses the bedrooms and bathrooms.

farther down the steep slope are the other two villas that are submerged into the ground like cave buildings, taking advantage of the built area bonus allowed by greek building codes. the dwellings are embedded into the landscape, underlining the relationship between architecture and nature. these residences consist of two volumes separated by a planted patio. the first part, which is accessible from a sloping path, hosts the living areas while the other volume contains the bedrooms and bathrooms.

the wide openings on the front façades afford unobstructed views, and when combined with the smaller windows at the rear, provide effective cross ventilation for the two sunken homes. the retaining walls, cross ventilation, exterior thermal insulation system, and the planted roofs all contribute to lower energy consumption and ideal living conditions throughout the year.

all of the houses are designed with outdoor pools and terraces, which are directed towards the sea. altogether, the complex is designed in simple geometries and minimal aesthetics. for the surroundings, most of the landscape has been left as it was but new vegetation has been planted to complete the naturally rugged look of the houses in the hillside.

project info:

name: house complex at tolo

location: tolo, greece

architecture firm: A2 architects

lead architect: sotiris anyfantis

design team: sotiris anyfantis, sofia zioga, vilma agrafioti, nikos ioannou

construction: mytinilini development s.a.

supervision: panos bastos, giorgos anagnou

MEP design: EMG

structural design: antonis kotis

site area: 6500 m2

built area: 350 m2

year: 2019

photography: yiorgos kordakis | @yiorgoskordakis

styling: ioli chiotini

suppliers: vokos (floors and sanitary ware), alta linea (kitchen and wardrobes), vimatec (building elements)

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: lynne myers | designboom