OPA presents conceptual cliffside 'casa brutale' on the aegean sea

OPA presents conceptual cliffside 'casa brutale' on the aegean sea

‘casa brutale’ is an unclad statement of simplicity and harmony in contemporary architecture. the conceptual residence, by OPA (open platform for architecture), is a chameleonic living space that teeters on the high cliffs above the aegean sea. it is a study of aesthetics, structure, function and engineering, waiting hopefully to be built.

OPA casa brutale conceptual residence aegean sea greece designboom
all images courtesy of OPA



‘casa brutale’ draws directly from adalberto libera’s italian masterpiece casa malaparte; but rather than sitting above ground, it’s encased by the tender earth surrounding. the home is constructed with simple materials like wood, glass, and raw concrete, putting the focus on the landscape and ocean. nothing extends above the ground level, and impact is limited to a single façade that separates the vertical cliff face.

interior view of the pool above



the roof of the residence is a crystalline pool made of reinforced glass. its bottom is glazed, and functions as a massive skylight that floods the interior with natural light. top-to-bottom glass covers the entire cliff-facing façade, which poetically maximizes the exposure of the home to the elements.

entrance to ‘casa brutale’



50 stairs take homeowners downwards into the house, at the bottom of which is a tall, rotating door of aged wood. internally, the rest of the home is bare, open, and simple. a cast concrete dining table is accompanied by a matching set of concrete benches, topped with a seating surface of wood. behind the seats, is a sculpturesque fireplace.

OPA casa brutale conceptual residence aegean sea greece designboom
glazed façade to the sea



a thin, steel staircase leads from the kitchen to the mezzanine, which is dedicated to the master bedroom. like other furnishings, the bed frame is made of concrete and wood, and walls are mirrored to enhance the play of light and shadow. on the main floor, there’s a guest room, as well as a small corridor that leads to a storage area and bathroom.

view from kitchen

half-level, with the mirrored walls

master bedroom on mezzanine

OPA casa brutale conceptual residence aegean sea greece designboom
day and night

top view

OPA casa brutale conceptual residence aegean sea greece designboom
floor plan of the lowest level (-9.90)




designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: nick brink | designboom 

  • ~ so smart ~ so beautiful ~ <3 ~ :D:P

    Dragica Petrović says:
  • I think this is one of the most astonishing and original concept from private Villa I have ever seen
    really wonderful
    my congrats!

    Jacopo says:
  • A pool stuck between giant slabs of rocks, what could possibly go wrong.

    TebowCantThrow says:
  • there are a few design issues that if it was my villa, would annoy me. it looks like the pool is right above the bedroom(kinda cool) but it makes controlling the ambient light into room difficult. since most people don’t like getting up at 6am, i feel like a sliding ceiling would be necessary.

    also, what’s with the dining table facing the wall?

    not going to lie, some parts of this villa seem more like a prison.

    Matt says:
  • Not sure it could get an better then this. It’s beautiful!

    lisa says:
  • Fun to look at, but I wonder- what could possibly go wrong?!

    Mike says:
  • I want a fireplace with the chimney going up through the glass-bottomed pool. Bonus: you heat the pool with the lost fire heat. Also, I want underwater electrical outlets every 12 feet in the pool to charge my iPhone.

    Mike says:
  • Build it!

    peterw says:
  • This structure is based on new technology that cuts the rock at the edge of the cliff with laser precision so the fit the concrete volume accurately.
    Visitors leave their Louis Vuitton at the entrance and enter the solar hammam naked, enjoying the boiling hot interior and the view to Santorini Caldera.
    In case of earthquake they jump to the sea from the special balcony, to avoid the effects of cracks on glass under tonnes of water.

    delaxo says:
  • The idea that natural light will only come from the top and the “front” is going to make it difficult to live in. Adding some side lighting in the form of egress-type window/skylights could dissipate the concern that the structure, if built, would feel like a prison.

    tituscuxo says:
  • An elegant concept. But perhaps some thought should have gone into some of the issues raised by Peter W: climate control/amelioration seems not to have been considered here. And natural lighting is uni-directional. Great design but . . . .ummm.

    Michael Julien says:
  • Great if you want to live in a castle.

    Robert Lanman says:
  • It feels like a Bond villian’s lair. Sure it would be awesome for a weekend but realistically you wouldn’t want to live there. And at what rate does coastal erosion occur…?

    Giles Mason says:
  • Major oversight, how are you getting water to this rock enclosed structure. Secondly, where is sewage going. No place for drain field in rock. Hang over the railing maybe? Not realistic.

    Tim smith says:
  • Very beautiful, but indeed purely as a concept.

    Beyond everything that’s already been noted, I’d add that the constant shifting light patterns from the pool above could be rather tedious after a while.

    SillyBoyce says:
  • Obviously original, but would never live there for many reasons, starting by non garage, non security, ‘cold’ atmosphere, no forest around, no services (super, etc)… What kind of life is that?
    As ‘concept’ undoubtely original, but not enjoyable at all.

    Alvaro says:
  • Looks awesome, however how are practical considerations handled? In other words water, power, sewer, etc. That would probably cost more than the building itself if possible at all.

    mark best says:
  • Like an Ayn Rand book, it is dramatic and serene in concept but only a fantasy without some additional practical considerations.
    Rotate the habitable structure 90 degrees for long glass on the cliff wall, more light and views from all living areas.
    Maintain pool orientation but locate only over the living portion, not service or bedroom.
    Cantilever pool and relocated balcony off living room out over the cliff.
    Add a shallow depression carport/garage at cliff edge for protection and dramatic owner arrival adjacent the elevator
    A client would pay to build and enjoy now.

    John Gavenas, RLA says:
  • ….great future set for a James Bond or Mission Impossible!!!!!

    michel says:
  • The pool on top scares me if something happened it would flood the space below. Why not put the pool above the walk way into the a home, plus the home would have better lighting with a sky light and solar heating. It would be kind of lonely, no neighbors no nothing just rock. How far would you have to go to a store?

    janet d. says:
  • While the concept is very original, it all feels very “clinical”. Each to their own, but I would have liked at least a little pop of color. The ambience it creates would be one that is depressing and uninviting. Perhaps one that Hannibal Lector might appreciate. No offence .

    Frannie Richard says:
  • The naysayers and ultra-pragmatists here are being far too literal. A see-thru pool roof is ingenious, and distracting reflective ripples easily ameliorated with a screen of internal louvers, a retractable carbon-fiber curtain, or perhaps a semi-transparent pool cover. Some might find a house slotted into a slice of rock face claustrophobic, others quite secure and safe, like a cave or vault. And the views of course are stunning. I would add some means to get to the water: a hot-air-balloon basket on a winch, perhaps.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • Swept me off my feet! Absolutely gorgeous, the filtered light trough the water must create the most magical atmosphere, and the minimal, incorporated furnishings make the concept very strong, as in carved into the rock.
    Absolutely wonderful!

    Edgar says:
  • Would erosion be a factor here? It’s amazing though!

    Deborah Catherall says:
  • Conceptionally Stunning……The pool and the constant light from it may be an issue though. what is the heating situation with the exposed pool ontop of the bedroom. Can the pool be heated?

    ADL says:
  • When it rains, you’ve got a built in waterfall flowing down the stairs and forming a second pool on the lowest level. Bonus!!!

    Ed says:
  • Yes, this is a typical James Bond type flat. But I wouldn’t like living there doesn’t look comfortable it’s a real storm shelter underground looks like a modern prison cell unlike Alcatraz I didn’t want to find a sitting room.

    E.O says:
  • The pool guy is gonna love you.
    Oh, and the window washer will be thrilled.

    Ralph says:
  • A real warm feeling house.I love the landscape.

    Danny says:
  • Is this a house or a Halo Map?

    Kevin says:
  • sort of depressing atmosphere as a villa with the pool covering all above

    Jing says:
  • Beautiful. But the heat gain from that pool would be unbearable.

    mj says:

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