Architecture

Luxury home disappears into rugged Greek landscape

Luxury home disappears into ru...
NCaved's sunken design was partly chosen to shield the house from strong coastal winds
NCaved's sunken design was partly chosen to shield the house from strong coastal winds
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The NCaved house, by Mold Architects, takes its place remarkably well among the rugged shoreline on Greece's Serifos island
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The NCaved house, by Mold Architects, takes its place remarkably well among the rugged shoreline on Greece's Serifos island
NCaved's construction involved the drilling and digging of the rugged coastal landscape and took place over two years
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NCaved's construction involved the drilling and digging of the rugged coastal landscape and took place over two years
NCaved's sunken design was partly chosen to shield the house from strong coastal winds
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NCaved's sunken design was partly chosen to shield the house from strong coastal winds
NCaved measures 360 sq m (roughly 3,800 sq ft), spread over three floors, including a self-contained guest house
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NCaved measures 360 sq m (roughly 3,800 sq ft), spread over three floors, including a self-contained guest house
NCaved's bedroom looks out onto the Aegean Sea and connects to a glass-fronted en-suite bathroom that probably wouldn't suit shy retiring types
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NCaved's bedroom looks out onto the Aegean Sea and connects to a glass-fronted en-suite bathroom that probably wouldn't suit shy retiring types
NCaved's open-plan kitchen, living and dining area opens onto the terrace with large glazed doors
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NCaved's open-plan kitchen, living and dining area opens onto the terrace with large glazed doors
NCaved's interior decor has a material palette of concrete, stone, wood, and glass
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NCaved's interior decor has a material palette of concrete, stone, wood, and glass
A large sunken staircase provides access to NCaved's three floors
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A large sunken staircase provides access to NCaved's three floors
NCaved's master bathroom overlooks a small private courtyard area
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NCaved's master bathroom overlooks a small private courtyard area
NCaved's operable facade helps open up the home to the breeze and naturally cool the interior
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NCaved's operable facade helps open up the home to the breeze and naturally cool the interior
NCaved's kitchen includes a dining area
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NCaved's kitchen includes a dining area
"The need to create a protected shelter, at a location of disarming view, but openly exposed to strong north winds, led us to the decision to drill the slope, instead of arranging a set of spaces in line at ground level," says Mold Architects
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"The need to create a protected shelter, at a location of disarming view, but openly exposed to strong north winds, led us to the decision to drill the slope, instead of arranging a set of spaces in line at ground level," says Mold Architects
NCaved features a swimming pool located at the front of the home
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NCaved features a swimming pool located at the front of the home
NCaved includes an internal staircase as well as the large sunken external staircase
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NCaved includes an internal staircase as well as the large sunken external staircase
Shot of nCaved's swimming
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NCaved's swimming pool overlooks the Aegean Sea
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It would be easy to miss the NCaved house among the rugged landscape of Greece's Serifos island if you weren't paying attention. Designed by Mold Architects, the home takes its place so well in the rocky hill that it seems to be part of it.

NCaved was created in collaboration with structural engineers Studio 265 and is located on an enviable spot on a small secluded cove. It measures 360 sq m (roughly 3,800 sq ft), spread over three floors and is described as a "3D chessboard of solids and voids" by Mold Architects.

Construction involved diggers and other machinery removing a chunk of the landscape to make space for it. In all, the home took two years to complete and was finally finished in late 2020. The idea behind its sunken design is to provide shelter from strong winds in the area. Additionally, the natural insulating properties of all that rock and soil should help to keep the interior a relatively stable temperature.

"The need to create a protected shelter, at a location of disarming view, but openly exposed to strong north winds, led us to the decision to drill the slope, instead of arranging a set of spaces in line at ground level," explains Mold Architects. "An in-caved staircase connects the three levels externally and leads to the main entrance, located at the living room loft. This smooth descent into the interior of the house slowly reveals the initially hidden spaces of the house, while framing a two sided view: a visual outlet to the sea during the descent, an outlet to the sky during the ascent."

NCaved's operable facade helps open up the home to the breeze and naturally cool the interior
NCaved's operable facade helps open up the home to the breeze and naturally cool the interior

The interior layout is split between the main house and self-contained guest quarters, with the sunken exterior staircase running the length of the residence and connecting each space (though there's also an internal floating staircase inside the main home). It's fronted by a terrace area with a swimming pool.

Much of the interior living space is taken up by a large open plan room containing a kitchen and adjacent dining area, with a living space nearby that has sunken seating. The room opens to the terrace with large sliding glass doors. The master bedroom is also arranged so that occupants wake up to the view of the Aegean. The decor certainly won't be for everyone with its generous use of concrete – plus shy retiring types will wince at the glass-encased bathroom – but it's very well done and the addition of natural stone and wood softens the effect. The open layout and generous glazing also helps fill the interior with daylight.

NCaved's bedroom looks out onto the Aegean Sea and connects to a glass-fronted en-suite bathroom that probably wouldn't suit shy retiring types
NCaved's bedroom looks out onto the Aegean Sea and connects to a glass-fronted en-suite bathroom that probably wouldn't suit shy retiring types

Other homes that blend into the landscape in a somewhat similar way include the dragon scale-like House on the Cliff in Spain, the Native American-inspired Edgeland Residence in the US and Villa Troglodyte, which is a blend of real and fake rock.

Source: Mold Architects

View gallery - 15 images
16 comments
16 comments
Zerozen
Woah, I love this method, blended into the lonely hill.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
This is a lot more eco friendly than a lot of structures that are intended for that. Someone needs to adapt it to mass housing.
Bob Flint
Now this is design, in harmony & simply using natures elements.
wolf0579
It never fails to amaze me, the money spent on the possibility of getting laid. I dig this design, but we all really know what the end result of all human endeavor is. Reproduction, or at the very least, rehearsals!
CAVUMark
Cave men would approve.
Bricorn
Ideal for the modern Hobbit.
Robt
Re: Eco friendly etc.
I doubt that two years of digging (more like excavating) and hauling materials up to the middle of nowhere is an environmentally smart move
McDesign
Man, so gorgeous - bet it's like living in sculpture!
Signguy
Robt. Yup, then imagine a whole neighborhood...
alexD
the outside looks cool but the interior, looks more barren than the desert outside... I totally like the concept but not the decoration....