NCAVED Underground Home Is Embedded In Greek Hillside

Ncaved mold architects IIHIH

Mold Architects have built an underground home into the sloped hillside of a secluded cove on Greece’s Serifos Island. The three level residence, NCaved, is made of stone, exposed concrete, wood and metal with multiple cavities supported by retaining walls of dry stone.

NCAVED Mold Architects

Ncaved underground homencaved house greece
The following text is courtesy of the architects:

NCAVED is located on a small secluded rocky cove on Serifos Island, seemingly hovering just above sea level. The need to create a protected shelter, at a location of disarming view, but openly exposed to strong north winds, led us to the decision to drill the slope, instead of arranging a set of spaces in line at ground level.

greek subterannean homencaved house ext crop IIHIH
Mold architecture hillside house

We applied a rectangular grid to the slope to produce a three-dimensional “chessboard” of solids and voids that accommodate and, at the same time, isolate the residence quarters. This strict geometry is discontinued with the rotation of the last axis of the grid, which provides the living area with ampler view.

Shifting the axis intensifies the sense of perspective significantly, and thus the imprint of the residence appears minimized at the conceptual end of the ascent. Longitudinal walls of dry stone outline and protect the interior and exterior spaces. They consist the vertical borders, which lead the visitor’s gaze to the horizon line.

underground architecture MOLD architects greece

In contrast to the sturdy stone walls, the transverse facades are light, made of glass and can open along their entire length. The front is fully open to the east view, while the rear windows frame indoor gardens, enhancing the air flow and letting light into the residence. Lighting and ventilation with front and rear openings, stone, a planted flat roof, suitable insulation, as well as energy-efficient glass panels adds to NCAVED excellent bioclimatic features.

NCAVED house entrance
modern residence   NCaved stairs

The residence is divided into three levels: bedrooms, living rooms, and a guest house. The first two communicate internally, while the guest house is independent.

NCAVED interior
modern kitchen
modern kitchen island

An in caved staircase connects the three levels externally and leads to the main entrance, located at the living room loft.

Ncaved interior


stone and concrete bathroommodern bath

This smooth descent into the interior of the house slowly reveals the initially hidden spaces of the house, while framing a two sided view: a visual outlet to the sea during the descent, an outlet to the sky during the ascent.

Ncaved greeceunderground homencaved sustainable architecturePool in hillside NCAVED infinity pool serifos island

In caved areas are “negative” spaces. They result from severing and removing part of the rock. This rough feeling of a natural cavity was what we aimed to recreate with our choice of materials and color palette.

Stone, exposed concrete, wood and metal are used with precision to create coarse inner shells. Perforated filters on the facades and the floor produce shadow patterns. Paired with large reflective mirror surfaces, they make up an eerie atmosphere in the private areas of the residence. Finally, the pergolas seem to float detached from the surface, denoting the physical aspect of the residence, which integrates to the landscape, yet maintains a dynamic presence.

Architectural plans for NCAVED:

YEAR: 2020
LOCATION: Serifos, Greece
AREA: 340m2
TYPE: Private Residence
CONSTRUCTOR: Mold architects
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Studio 265
MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Team M-H
LIGHTING DESIGN: Nikos Andrianopoulos
METAL CONSTRUCTION: qoop
PHOTOGRAPHERS: Yiorgis Yerolymbos and Panagiotis Voumvakis

NCaved House in greece

all images and information, courtesy of MOLD Architects