Mediterranean garden design
This luxury summer residence is situated on the picturesque island of Kefalonia, off the Ionian coast of Greece. All of the villa exteriors were designed so as to fit harmoniously within the surrounding scenery, with its dramatic cliffs and breathtaking sea views. Surrounded by a low native vegetation bank, which was designed to feel like a continuation of the existing coastal landscape, the seventy meter long building seems to emerge from the natural landscape. A prototype Mediterranean garden was used as a source of inspiration for the softscape, which acts as a unifying element, a common reference which provides seasonal variation and ensures sustainability.
The arrangement of spaces aimed to provide a continuum of experience for the casual stroller. A close linkage between indoor and outdoor spaces and functions was envisaged. The 4.400 sq. meter exteriors are naturally subdivided in two distinct segments, the south segment, with a view to the sea, and the north more sheltered segment, where the entry point to the property is situated.
The south segment includes, beyond the native vegetation bank, a cliff-edge gravel path lined with scattered rocks mirroring the rocky coastline, the pool and bar area and a stone-built amphitheatre, all with spectacular views to the sea. The vegetation is rather formal around the pool, but becomes naturalistic and sparse as we approach the sea-front, where the rocky landscape gradually takes over.
The north segment includes the entrance courtyard and garden, which is framed by a long traditional-style stone wall, designed down to the detail, including window like sculpture cases. This acts as a background to the century-old Olive trees, the sculptured Strawberry tree and the architectural forms of the Cypress trees. Moving towards the right of the main entrance court yard, the secluded kitchen garden provides deep shade and shelter. To the left, the characteristic Greek island chapel draws the eye, framed against the horizon.
This landscape has been designed so as to provide conditions of human comfort in one or more of the subspaces, at all times of the year and in any weather. Moreover, it creates a sense of effortless luxury. Selected architectural elements have been carefully introduced within the villa exteriors so as to underline the sea views and to create focal points. The commissioned sculptural designs of specific elements, such as the railings, the entrance gate, the north wall water structure and the bar, draw on natural forms such as the wave, the tree, the earthquake to create a unique and exclusive finish.