Facing the East Corfu bay overlooking Corfu Town from the Barbati region, this modern VIP villa is situated between the dominant Mt Pantokrator and the coastal edge of a hundred-meter cliff.
Built originally as a small hotel, the property passed into the next generations of a large family, who wanted to update it and turn it into a summer house for the extended family and friends with a provision of short-term rentals.
The plot offers unobstructed 180 degrees views spanning from the Albanian coast to Corfu Town and fortress and Kommeno Bay.
Our brief was not only to update the property but also to add a swimming pool and make sure that the additions would not add excessive load to the pre-existing structural grid. Another challenge was to create pleasant sunlit places in the front facade due to the limited sunlight in the afternoon because of the mountain behind.
Our architectural response was to divide the existing floors into three distinct zones-levels, two of which can be accessed externally. The top level hosts the five master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. The middle level, divided into two volumes, hosts the main day spaces, a separate guest house, and a large veranda and can be accessed from the road level. The lower level hosts the everyday living room, playroom, gym, cinema room, storage, and staff rooms. On the same level externally, the swimming pool, barbeques and main landscape areas are located.
The villa has been stripped down to its bare structural grid and has been refurbished completely. The main facade overlooking the sea and the pool is mainly glass partitions providing, especially during the summer months, unity between internal and external spaces. On the contrary, the rear facade which is facing towards the mountain is stone-cladded and highly insulated with visibly less openings in order to avoid the cold northern winds and at the same time create a privacy barrier to those approaching the property.
The infinity swimming pool, with its oval front edge, follows the peripheral vision of the user and enhances the blend between pool and sea view. The swimming pool incorporates sunbathing platforms as well as a central water level sitting space with a firepit.
Internally, given the fact that the structural grid could not be altered and was always visible, in order to minimise the visual noise of the exposed structural grid, a homogeneous colour and material pallet was chosen. This choice enhances not only the above, but updates the contemporary and minimal character of the project. In contradiction, several wooden elements, exposed stone walls and elegant glazing units, framing the Corfiot sea views, create a connection to the identity of the area without sacrificing its modern architecture style.
Additionally, taking advantage of the cliff and the pool edge, a cantilevered glass platform offers a breath-taking experience, creating a strong marketing point and also an actual viewing platform which is suspended 100 meters above the sea with the waves crushing directly below.