Located on a spectacular sea front site on the Greek island of Crete, Elounda Beach is one of the world’s leading hotels. The scale of the site is at once both vast and intimate offering uninterrupted views across the Aegean Sea to the horizon yet still benefiting from the sheltering nature of the embracing bay. The Villas project is a contemporary intervention on the coast and aims to connect these scales, acting as a link and blurring the boundaries between the land and the sea.
Set back on Crete’s northeast coast, the row of volumes face the water as anchored yachts towards the sea, while addressing and complementing the urban context on the land side. The newly created pathways between the bungalows afford open views to the sea and have a reduced scale that echo the streets of coastal villages of old in a contemporary way.
The strong geometry of the individual units is articulated as a fluid coastal landscape by way of the sequence of rounded surfaces and 45 degree wall lines that carve the depths of the volumes. The system emerges as a new artificial landscape relating the two different conditions.
The use of a natural dark grey stone for the exterior wall cladding on the set the new volumes is keeping in harmony with the local environment while the use of natural materials such as wood and leather interiors enwraps the people in a discreetly opulent atmosphere, in balance with the natural surroundings.
The principle idea behind the interior design is to create a luxurious open plan space that allows the sea and views enter into the entire villa. At the same time, through the use of architectural devices and independent furniture pieces, the spaces can be closed off individually to create a more intimate environment for guests. The materials, exterior finishes and interior designs are made from natural materials, have all been designed and custom made especially for this project by Davide Macullo Architects and in all, give a sense of discreet opulence without being vulgar. The Villas’ decor, while offering guests the utmost in comfort and luxury, is essentially simple, always respectful to its surroundings and allows the beauty of nature take pride of place.
Each of the bathrooms are laid out with the same design principle but have each been finished differently. In order to keep a certain design harmony at Elounda, we chose simple, natural, luxurious materials. Hence the bathroom zones are finished with marble flooring, wooden furniture items, reflective panels and illuminated mirrors. All the built in furniture items were designed by our studio.
There are several different types of marble (for example dark green, pale honey, black and chocolate) and wood finishes (mahogany, teak, whitened oak and cherry) that were chosen in order that each villa have its own identity. The mirrors in the bathroom are illuminated from behind. The mirror has been sanded down finely to allow the light to pass through. In doing this the line of the mirrored wall is kept clean of any protruding lighting system. There is also a flat screen television behind the mirror- when it is not switched on it is invisible! The sunken bath is set at the level of the pool, so when the space is open, there is always a relationship to the water beyond.
The ceilings throughout the interior of the Villas are covered in real tan leather. Again this natural material which creates a warm and softening effect through all the spaces.
The lighting schemes in each of the Villas can be modified by the guest as they wish. The command desk in the centre of the villa allows guests to chose a lighting theme and also to control the surround sound system for the music and television system. In the bathroom for example, the frosted glass of the steam bath/shower can be illuminated in many colours, depending on the atmosphere you wish to create. The light that comes through the skylights in the bathroom is always a sunny blue as the glazing is blue.
The bed has been designed so that it can electronically be split into either the single beds or remain as a double. The positioning of the bed infront of the pool is to emphasise the relationship with the water.
The living space can be closed off from the bedroom and the bathroom when required. Again here the materials chosen for the furniture pieces, the floor and ceiling finishes, are all natural. The wall unit is made of a light reflective material, is sound proof when closed and moves electronically.
There are three deck levels, one at the villa level, a lower private one and one at sea level, giving the guests a choice of privacy. The use of teak flooring, polished steel columns and glass balustrades recall the theme of the yacht.
Each of the villas also has its own private pool, which is illuminated at night.
The skylights are illuminated at night time, giving the impression of moonlight on the deck.
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