Native Beach Villa - Livadia, Creta

On the shores of a mythical sea

On the southwest coast of Crete, a villa overlooking the crystal-clear waters of a bay reflects the spirit of the Greek island with its fluid spaces and materials in harmony with nature
Antonella Galli
Georgios Anastasakis
PALY architects
Interior Designer
Manos Kypitidis
Bagno Y Bagno
Year of completion

Crete is a land of myths, history and nature. As writer Nikos Kazantzakis, a native of the island and author of Zorba the Greek (1946), put it, “Whoever sets foot on this island senses a mysterious force branching warmly and beneficently through his veins”. In keeping with the spirit of this Mediterranean island, Paly Architects, an Athens-based practice founded by architects Nikos Lykoudis and Ismene Papaspiliopoulou, designed a holiday home called Native Beach Villa as part of the Elafonisi Villas collection of luxury properties. Located in the village of Livadia in the southwest of the island, the villa blends in perfectly with its rugged and fascinating surroundings.
The property boasts a splendid beachfront location in an unspoilt bay sheltered by a rocky escarpment that slopes gently down to the sea. A haven of peace and tranquillity, it follows the shape of the land and in keeping with local tradition maintains a harmonious relationship with the outside world. The villa consists of an 82-square-metre single-floor volume surrounded by a large patio and a curved swimming pool delimited by large boulders. On the roof, a pergola shelters a solarium area with jacuzzi. “The minimalist rectangular volume contains the solids and voids that make up the living spaces,” explain the architects. “Three tamarisk trees in front of the villa provide shade and delimit the boundary with the rocky beach. The outdoor oven made of local stone separates the entrance path and the patio while concealing the view of the private area from outside.”
The interior space of the villa, divided into two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and an open-plan kitchen, was designed to maintain a sense of seamless continuity with the exterior. In the living room and the master bedroom, both of which overlook the patio and the swimming pool, the full-height glazed walls offer stunning views of the sea. In addition, the two adjoining rooms can be easily connected or separated thanks to a wooden sliding partition.
The materials chosen by Paly Architects – wood, stone and dusty, textured plaster, grey on the inside and light brown on the outside – draw from the local tradition and maintain as natural a look as possible. The furnishings are essential but stylish, made of solid wood and rattan and upholstered in neutral coloured fabrics. “The materials we chose – stone, metal with rust finishes, chestnut wood and earth-toned plaster – are all sourced locally,” explain the architects. The exterior paving is made from traditional local stone, while porcelain tiles from Kronos Ceramiche’s La Reverse collection were chosen for the interior thanks to their meticulous reproduction of the texture of natural stone. The tiles were chosen in the dove grey colour Taupe with Antique and Elegance finishes. The same products were also used for the wall tiles and for several custom-made elements, from the kitchen top to the tables and washbasins. These design solutions enhance the sense of continuity and the natural look of the rooms in harmony with the ancient landscape surrounding the villa.

Kronos Ceramiche, Le Reverse
porcelain stoneware
50x80, 30x80 cm
Taupe Elegance, Taupe Antique
Technical characteristics
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): E < = 0,04 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UA ULA UHA
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): <128 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): conforme
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): conforme
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 53 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): conforme
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): conforme
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): conforme
Certifications and awards
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