Sitting in the foothills of Rethymno, Greece, Architectural Design company POLYERGO, has created a stunning, modern summer home on the rural island of Crete.
Organically merging with the local landscape and Grecian housing traditions, the property is carefully inserted in the sloping terrain with a main central courtyard. Each separate building revolves around this central area, the “avlì”, and a staircase that directs views toward the surrounding hillside while separating the housing areas.
With the main living spaces placed above, the steps divide the kitchen and sitting area, poolside terrace, and below bedrooms. Access from the North-side leads directly into the upper level, common area characterized by a large corner door window that opens into the swimming pool and lounge overlook.
The Cretan Summer House is located just a few steps far from the ancient village of Kato Mixorròuma, in which the architecture derived some elements from past, local design. Inserted between an old oak tree on the West and an Aloni – a low circular stone construction used for agriculture – protected by the Archaeological Institute on the East, the house opens towards the South while maintaining a more private atmosphere amongst the nearby village.
Elements of stone, wood, metal, and plaster blend into the natural scenery with minimalist coloring for the interior. Traditional design plays a large role, still implementing modern comfort with soft oak wood, warm shades and natural materials such as jute, linen and cotton fabrics.
The interior items feature custom-designed furniture highlighting the “mashrabiya technique” where small elements are weaved in inlaid wood in a geometric design grid. This is incorporated near the bay windows called “kioski” of Ottoman tradition which characterize the island history.
Surprisingly enough, this summer island home does not require air conditioning. The stair axis, acts as a natural ventilation chimney while the hill, in direct contact with the lower, cooler part of the house, hosts a stable internal temperature. While the large pool absorbs heat, two solar panels provide the house hot water year-round. The architects also incorporated thick, housing walls to produce impressive thermal inertia, showcasing a summer Grecian escape that is both energy-efficient and breathtakingly designed.
To learn more about the Cretan Summer House, click here