Carved into the breathtaking cliffs of Folegandros, overlooking the Aegean horizon, Villa Phoega is a five-bedroom subterranean residence meant to have a minimal footprint. Completely invisible from the outside, it is consciously immersed into its protected habitat.
Lying on a plot of 6.033sq.m. and accessed through a private road connected to the main street, Phoega becomes one with the past. A stone’s throw from the small 17th century Byzantine chapel of Agios Savvas, only a few meters away from a preserved agricultural complex, the estate enjoys privileged proximity to the island’s multiple layers of history.
At one with the earth, the house’s only exposed façade looking northeast preserves the trace of the dry-stone wall that’s part of the island’s intangible cultural heritage. Handmade using locally-sourced materials and traditional techniques, the façade embraces the art of dry-stone walling deeply rooted in the history of the Cycladic landscape.
Consisting of 460sq.m. of indoor living spaces, stripped down to its most fundamental elements, Phoega is a minimalistic sanctuary for comfortable living. The residence comprises a private parking area, a highlight infinity pool, a spacious living area with an adjacent communal dining section, a large kitchen, and 5 double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Additional spaces include a gym, a storage room, a staff room, a laundry area, and a linen storage room.
Each bedroom enjoys access to a covered private balcony leading to the terrace and the swimming pool.
Uninterrupted views over the deep blue sea blend in with the invisible border of the infinity pool that runs along the front side. The long infinity pool includes smaller islands with shallow waters on both sides and the front, forming a fun aquatic stripe for leisure and recreation.
The walls are lined with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors merging indoor and outdoor living. The visual omnipresence of water inside and out gives a soothing sense of calmness. The communal dining area of the lounge is enhanced with a kitchen counter that can be hidden behind the sliding oak wood panels, transforming the space into a versatile environment.
In harmony with the island’s native vegetation, the open spaces are peppered with olive trees, endemic plants, bushes, and fragrant herbs. Openings from above allow for ample light to enter the space, creating an airy atmosphere. Plants grow under the bright openings, incorporating the meditative peace that inner gardens can provide.
Sheltered below the ground, Phoega is a bioclimatic, energy-efficient and durable residence taking advantage of the natural insulation only the embrace of the earth can provide.
Making use of the plot’s pre-existing terraces modeled with crafted dry-stone walls, the design takes a localized, conscious approach to its surroundings. As a fully integrated environment, the house is designed to offer its residents aesthetic pleasure and a sense of wellbeing that leads to a more sustainable life.