Scapearchitecture blend natural greys in the Secret Garden House ―
The Secret Garden House, by Athens-based Scapearchitecture, is built on a slightly sloped, southwest-facing plot, oriented towards the sea in Faraggas, Paros Island. A small olive grove at the southern part and a cluster of pine trees to the east mark the property’s boundaries. Due to the building restrictions, an alternative architectural concept was proposed, prioritizing outdoor living: the outdoor area becomes the core of residential activities, while the indoors play a supporting role.
Α gently stepped pathway leads from the carport at the southwestern corner of the plot to the outdoor living area, set at the highest part of the property. Living and dining areas are found underneath an elongated pergola, sheltering a fully equipped kitchen, a sunbathing deck and a shallow pond that enhances the local microclimate. Protected from the prevailing Cycladic northern winds, the outdoor living area provides unobstructed views towards the garden, the sea and Antiparos Island.
The main house is located lower in the slope, below the outdoor living area. It is designed as a cave building, accessible from a passageway through the olive grove, and it is connected to the outdoor living area above through a 2m-wide stepped ventilation opening. Wide-span, minimal frame glass panels slide into the walls, turning the residence into an open sheltered space with panoramic views to the olive grove and the sea. The residence’s indoor areas include an open plan kitchen-dining-living room, two yacht-style guest bedrooms, one master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and all the required amenities. Patios provide cross ventilation, with one of them acting as the outdoor shower area of the master bathroom.
The house’s materiality reflects its hybrid character, balancing between landscape and architecture. All aluminum sliding frames, at the threshold between indoor and outdoor spaces, are powder-coated in a STRUCTURA 7021 (Black Grey) shade, highlighting their profiles, in contrast to the light grey shutters. The rotating louvers of the outdoor pergola feature a STRUCTURA 7030 (Stone Grey) color, consistent with the hue of the pressed cement flooring bordering the swimming pool, as a private, sandy beach. Due to the exposure to the bright Cycladic sun, and the house’s proximity to the sea and saline northern winds of the area, both powder coating colors employ the superdurable Interpon D2525 technology, in its Structura range: Available as a collection in the most popular RAL colors, the superdurable fine textured finish of Structura powder coatings by AkzoNobel provides exceptional levels of gloss retention and resistance to color change, even in the most demanding environments.
The character of the “Secret Garden” was further enhanced through landscape design that highlights the fluid continuum of the architecture in the entire property. The evergreen plants were mostly selected from local flora species, with the lowest possible irrigation requirements, displaying a colour palette that continuously transforms through the year. All pathways are constructed from earthy, porous materials, visually disappearing into the ground, keeping their presence as discreet as possible.
The preservation and partial restoration of the natural slope, with architecture integrated into it, became a liberating factor to the residential experience, by providing the option of detachment from the cosmopolitan frenzy of the island. The house becomes a small refuge hidden in a secret garden, where the occupants can relax and find their inner self, enjoying the pure essence of living in the Cycladic islands.
STRUCTURA RAL 7021 (Black Grey), Interpon D2525. AkzoNobel Code: YL321F
STRUCTURA RAL 7030 (Stone Grey), Interpon D2525. AkzoNobel Code: YP330F
Photography by Ioanna Roufopoulou