Metaxourgeio/Kerameikos district has been transformed repeatedly throughout the centuries. In this context, the whole building emphasises this idea of contradiction, by creating a dialogue between different architectural forms.
The design of the facade, renders clear the separation between the external “skin” and the internal “heart” of the building, by using two opposite techniques, in order to point out two different impressions: on the one hand, the internal part is exposed to combed concrete and other morphological elements of the Athenian architecture and on the other hand the external face is a metal cladding system on the façade of the building. The difference in materiality, between the ground floor and the other floors, adds a visual variety between the two levels and increases the effect of layering. As far as the metal cladding, panels of the same material but with perforation are placed in an almost theatrical way, framing the view, or the movement. In this way, a constant and unobstructed flow between the interior and the surrounding space, both physical and visual, is intensified. The outside environment flows to the interior, while at the same time there is visual contact with the city. In certain spots, for shading reasons, panels of the same material but with different perforation periodicity are observed, creating an atmospheric impression in the interior, and a play with the sunlight. Finally, the metal suspension beams of the metal cladding participate in the morphological impression of the building structure by outlining the balconies and the windows, marking in this way holes in the facade, which each time frame different parts of the urban fabric of Metaxourgeio.
The interior of the building was completely stripped down and re-designed from the beginning. Taking inspiration from the city of Athens, we created a central “boulevard” and smaller side “streets”, leading to the rooms, ensuring privacy and sound isolation. Keeping the vital elements of the building, the facade folds inward, observing metal perforated panels in each type of room. At the same time, the regularity of the existing structure is broken with curved elements inside the rooms, and in the common areas, as well as with the circular central staircase that folds like a ribbon, forming a spiral all through the heart of the building.
The idea of contrast that exists in the exterior has penetrated into interior design as well. There is a constant dialogue of the imperfect and polished. The marks and indents from the existing concrete of the structural elements coexists with fine materials such as wood, metal, mosaic, pastels and earthy colors. Color becomes a dominant part of interior design. Inspired by Athenian architecture, it interacts with the urban neighbourhood.
Design Team: IOANNA FAKIRI, JULIE SPYROPOULOU, IASON VOVOS, TRYFON DIMITRAKOPOULOS
Photographer: CHRISTOS DRAZOS
The project is located in Metaxourgeio, in the heart of a residential area with a completely diverse anthropography and an ever-changing architectural "vocabulary". In this context, the building must have a strong architectural identity, as the location and the wider area works as an undefined collage of architectural forms.
The design of the facade, renders clear the separation between the external "face" and the internal "heart" of the building, by using two opposite techniques to emphasize the different impressions they give: on the one hand, the interior is exposed to combed concrete and other morphological elements of the Athenian architecture and on the other hand the metal cladding on the façade of the building.
The aim is to strengthen and reinterpret the character of the area through an architectural language that can communicate with the area of Metaxourgeio. Using simple and clean materials, our desire is to create a quiet and discreet building that is harmonized with the urban environment, while meeting the need for modern and technologically efficient buildings in the area. To maintain the volumetric characteristics, the metal mesh is placed from the first floor to the roof at a distance from the main volume that equals the length of the balconies. The purpose of this gesture is to identify the entrance of the building through the revelation of the old volume. At the same time, the difference in materiality, between the ground floor and the other floors, adds a visual variety between the two levels and increases the effect of stratification. As far as the metal cladding, panels of the same material but different drilling frequencies are observed, creating an atmospheric impression in the interior spaces.
Finally, the metal suspension beams of the metal cladding participate in the morphological impression of the building structure by exposing the balconies and the windows. The interior of the building was completely stripped and designed from the beginning. The bearing structure and the openings created an original system of rooms and common areas, which maximizes the qualities of the building and minimizes its weaknesses. Our goal was to focus and maintain the remarkable and vital elements of the building. The central idea was inspired by the city of Athens, by creating a central "boulevard" and smaller side "streets", each of which leads to a room, ensuring privacy and sound insulation. The elements of wood, copper, mosaic, pastel but also earthy colors and furniture are key elements of the building structure which follows the architectural characteristics, the curves, and the repetitive patterns of the facade.