On the southern coast of Crete, Greek architectural firm decaARCHITECTURE has turned a commission for a modern residence into an opportunity for land preservation. Named the Ring House for its rounded shape, the house was created to follow the existing topography and looks like an extension of its hilltop location. The site had been scarred by environmentally insensitive infrastructural development but has now recovered its original morphology and has been replanted with native flora.

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view of the ocean and surrounding dry landscape from the home

the modern home surrounded by dry landscape with little vegetation

Located in the seaside village of Agia Galini, the Ring House is surrounded with beautiful sea views, yet suffers hot summers. To create a cooling microclimate, the architects built part of the structure into the earth and added several protected shaded areas, as well as an inner garden planted with a variety of citrus trees and edible plants. The resulting effect is one that the architects liken to an “oasis within an intensely beautiful but physically demanding environment.”

aerial view of the home and surrounding landscape near the ocean

modern round shaped home with glass windows reflecting the ocean

“At a broader scale, the house is a landscape preservation effort,” explain the architects. “In the past, the topography had been severely scarred by the random and informal carving of roads. The excavation material extracted during the house’s construction, was used to recover the original morphology of the land. Furthermore, a thorough survey of the native flora was done in order to understand the predominant biotopes in the different slopes in the plot. During the spring, prior to construction, seeds were collected on site and cultivated in a green house to grow more seeds. These were then sowed over the road scars for the regeneration of the flora.”

view of the exterior of the home with a garden

view of the home's exterior facade

pool alongside of the home with uninterrupted views of the ocean

Related: Concrete home perched on Greek island cliffside designed with large cut outs to frame the amazing sea views

Concrete beams that follow the existing topography of the hill and frame the inner garden define the Ring House. The entrance sequence begins from the parking pad to a long, curved walkway that wraps around the inner garden and provides access to the bedrooms on one side of the home and the open-plan living areas on the other side. The house is powered with rooftop solar panels.


Images by decaARCHITECTURE and George Messaritakis

interior of the home with white walls, floors and furniture and large vertical windows allowing ventilation and light

view of the homes outdoor terrace with a white table underneath it beside glass sliding doors

interior of the home with white furnishings and white walls and floors with big glass window offering ocean views