A Theater of Domestic Life
Redesigning a two-story house in a suburb of Athens, Kordas Architects preserve and highlight the special features of the existing building and introduce a new architectural language.
The residence is situated in the middle of a small corner plot, surrounded by taller apartment building blocks. Abandoned by its previous inhabitants, the building had been exposed to the elements and covered in lush vegetation; there was need to designate a new identity, its new technical, functional and aesthetic imprint.
The interior is marked by a theatrical feel, resulting from the organization in multiple levels and from the number of vintage architectural elements, reminiscent of old Athens, that may now be seen only in movies.
“Encountering the two-story house in Papagou for the first time, our enthusiasm for an architecturally interesting project was coupled with a feeling of responsibility and respect that would guide our course of action”, says the architectural office founder, Aristides Kordas.
The design challenge was to illustrate the authenticity and original character of the building, while updating the house to present-day requirements and to the current needs of its new inhabitants.
Clear intentions were translated in the consolidation and simplification of geometry: The main volume is laid bare and dressed in a thermally insulating façade in earthy tones. Natural wood evokes the extensive use of this material in the previous state of the building, but is now employed in innovative shades, partitions and fences. “Soft” geometries in wood and “hard” ones in masonry, clarify the hierarchy of the building volumes and functions and establish the new architectural character.
The main strategy for the interior is to preserve and highlight the feeling of openness and penetrability between indoor and outdoor areas. Separate outdoor spaces are organized according to the use and character of their respective interiors.
The central element of the house is the swimming pool, located in a place where it is brought to prominence and visibility from most individual spaces.
In the interior, the formerly compact core containing the kitchen is now opened and transformed into an extroverted living area, featuring an interplay of views and functional connections.
The house is about to be brought to a new “youth”, maintaining original elements of its past, combined with contemporary features on a functional, technical and aesthetic level.