Located on a small hill in beautiful Chalcis in Greece, a brand new house by innovative design teams at Ntovros Vasileios Architects presents visitors with the perfect blend of modern family amenities and fun, whimsical details that would make any child (or kid-at-heart) feel right at home. The Hidden Cross residence, in the suburb of Chalkida is the perfect seaside spot!
In terms of its terrain, the plot of this house slopes downwards to the water, giving it an unparalleled view but also making it a unique challenge for builders. That’s part of the reason why designers chose a structure that’s neat and compact, letting the home be anchored properly and safely. The shape gives it a neat modern feel as well, which was an added bonus!
Thanks to innovative architecture, the slope only served to enhance what the house had to offer, rather than limiting it. Even with its angle, Hidden Cross features a beautiful yard, plenty of semi-covered and relaxing outdoor spaces, and several balconies on the south side, which faces away from the main road running along the plot’s edge to the north.
Inside the home, the rooms operate according to a vertical and a horizontal axis. The place where the two intersect is where the primary living space is featured, making it great for family and social gatherings. Along the vertical axis, you’ll find a delineation between areas of movement (this is where the main staircase is located, as well as an elevator) and spaces meant for function (like the kitchen, dining room and bedrooms).
Along the horizontal axis, however, you’ll encounter a separation between public spaces and private once. This creates a sense of flow in the house that, well, makes perfect sense! Even first time visitors can suss out where the room they’re looking for is quite easily without direction, creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. This, in combination with the fact that several small novelty features were clearly created with children in mind (not the miniature cubby staircase leading to and from the playroom), really makes the house feel like an experience.
The layout and kid-friendly details aren’t the only interesting things about this space. Designers also included several facilities that make the home green, simple to work, and affordable to run. For example, it possess both active and passive solar heating systems, as well as natural cooling. This system includes a solar greenhouse by the kitchen, cool openings on the south side of the main volume, and vertical ventilation in the staircase that creates a cross-ventilation with the main skylight.
Equally impressive to the natural systems of cooling and heating was the designers’ natural approach to light! Of course, any home will include some artificial light, but this team made sure to maintain balance between that and effective levels of natural sunlight. A central skylight and impressively large glazed windows, as well as smaller ones placed strategically, play large roles in this. As a unique touch, the team also placed various shades over some windows, giving owners the option of casting shadows and filtering their light through covers that add some lit up colour to the room.
Photos by Dimitris Sotiropoulos