Flat designed by architect Natalia Bazaiou. Athens. Photo by Cathy Cunliffe

Apartment 13

The apartment is a prototypical interwar dwelling, integrated in the historically layered urban fabric at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis. The principal objective of the renovation was to maintain the atmosphere permeating the original design, and the historical footprint visible both on the building façade and in the construction details, enhancing the whole with the new library, living and dining rooms. The interwar character of the house is kept through the effortless pairing of materials and textures, the juxtaposition of playful unconventionality with sublime austerity, and simple forms which are consistent with the needs of a contemporary family. The forms emerging from the new interior design evolve in space as organic extensions of the shell and as living ramifications of its main structural elements, rather than static pieces of furniture.

The library, a sculptural composition of different materials (slender metal sheets, corrugated and perforated surfaces, wood) features an unexpected geometry as a kaleidoscopic version of this same element, a design play on its appearance and function. Visibly “contemporary” in its curved forms, and, as such, displaying the present condition of the apartment, the library stands in strong counterpoint to the past -the hardwood oak floor is kept intact to recall it.

In the living room, materials and textures are juxtaposed, highlighting the palimpsest of narratives and experiences inscribed within the interwar apartment. Marble, half-finished or untreated, chiseled concrete, metal, create surfaces for everyday, conventional uses (television sideboard, shelves, coffee table), merging into an elaborate, elegant, tactile whole, an art form inscribing theatricality in the space of quotidian life.

In the dining area, sculptural textures create niches for books and objects, without cluttering the limited space with excessive visual information. Airtight screens, discreetly lit, generate a bas-relief extension of the existing wall, a light geometry which is brought in conversation with the spartan materials on the kitchen façade.


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