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Mavrogia House, Agios Pavlos, Crete by Toledano + Architects

Project name:
Mavrogia House
Architecture firm:
Toledano + Architects
Agios Pavlos, Crete, Greece
Tools used:
AutoCAD, Autodesk 3ds Max
Principal architect:
Gabrielle Toledano
Design team:
Built area:
300 m²
Site area:
Design year:
Completion year:
Bernard Wauthier-Wurmser. Local Engineers : Evripidis Giannakakis, Vangelis Fragkiadakis
Bs Arq
In Progress
Residential › House

Toledano + Architects: The site is located in Southern Crete, near Agios Pavlos, the wildest remaining region of Crete. Facing the sea, it has a direct access to the beach, dry vegetation and a very steep topography, which dictated a lot of the design.

This house was designed to minimize the visual impact in the site. When arriving from the top, one can only see the upper floor, a long linear construction fading into the ground, discovering the semi buried lower floor only from the shore. That is what enabled a very discreet construction despite the dense program and the size of the house.

In Crete, the sun can be strong and the temperatures very high, thus the presence of patios and covered terraces. These ventilated, shaded areas offer optimal summer comfort. Wide sliding glass doors allow to widely open the living areas while stone walls were carefully placed on the outdoor terraces to shield from the winds.

In a region with difficult access to the site and limited water supply or ressources, it was fundamental to think the project with local materials and know-how without having to compromise on the design.

The house is entirely passive. It produces all the energy it needs thanks to solar panels placed on the upper part of the site. The heating and cooling system is ensured through a pump whereas rain water is collected in order to be reused.

The materials were carefully chosen within a local palette. Coming from the surrounding area, the stones are the same color as the site. The wood and the indoor marble used for the kitchen also come from Crete. « Patiti », a greek material similar to polished concrete, made of natural ingredients allowed to create continuous floors.

The house has 6 bedrooms. 1 master suite, 4 bedrooms and a children area.

Being designed for a blended family, the distribution had to be thought for different scenarios. Hence, the top floor is composed of the living areas ( kitchen, living room, dining room) and the master suite, both separated by a patio covered by a wooden pergola with a back semi circular wall to protect from the north winds. The floor can be used independently without having to open, cool or heat the one underneath, thus saving lots of energy.

The lower floor is composed of 5 bedrooms, 3 of which are accessible from inside the house to enhance winter comfort, while the last 2, forming an independant guest wing can be reached through a second covered patio with helicoidal stairs.

By Liliana Alvarez

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