The 'nCAVED' by Mold Architects

Designed by Iliana Kerestetzi (Mold Architects, @moldarchitects).
Located in Serifos Island, Greece.
Photos by Yiorgis Yerolymbos & Panagiotis Voumvakis (@panagiotisvoumvakis).
Description by Mold Architects.
Year: 2020.
Area: 360 m².
'nCAVED' is located on a small secluded rocky cove on Serifos Island, seemingly hovering just above sea level. The need to create a protected shelter, at a location of disarming view, but openly exposed to strong north winds, led Mold Architects to the decision to drill the slope, instead of arranging a set of spaces in line at ground level.
Mold Architects applied a rectangular grid to the slope to produce a three-dimensional “chessboard” of solids and voids that accommodate and, at the same time, isolate the residence quarters. This strict geometry is discontinued with the rotation of the last axis of the grid, which provides the living area with an ample view.
Shifting the axis intensifies the sense of perspective significantly, and thus the imprint of the residence appears minimized at the conceptual end of the ascent.
Longitudinal walls of dry stone outline and protect the interior and exterior spaces. They consist of vertical borders, which lead the visitor’s gaze to the horizon line.
In contrast to the sturdy stone walls, the transverse facades are light, made of glass and can open along their entire length. The front is fully open to the east view, while the rear windows frame indoor gardens, enhancing the air flow and letting light into the residence.
The residence is divided into three levels: bedrooms, living rooms, and a guest house. The first two communicate internally, while the guest house is independent. 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.
"The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage." — Thucydides (460–395 BC).