In the heart of the city, in a three-story neoclassical building in Kolonaki, New York University finally acquires a permanent home for its Research Institute in Athens. Interior spaces were transformed and completely renovated in order to accommodate professors and graduate students who wish to do research on the country’s current reality as well as its long cultural history.
The design intent was the architectural, functional and aesthetical upgrade of the building, by creating pleasant and friendly spaces that promote collaboration and social interaction that meet comfort and safety conditions, while accomplishing the requirements of a large university.
The architectural study sought to create a whole new identity in the interiors of the neoclassical building focusing on: the aesthetics of minimal and dynamic lines, the consistent architectural language that penetrates the whole building, the warm lighting, the strong sense of materiality along with the functional, pleasant and creative furnishings.
The entrance of the building on the ground floor is characterized (in plan, in ceiling and furnishing) by the spindle-shape that receives the diagonal movement towards the stairwell. The inner side of the spindle-shaped space is clad in wood, creating a warm and welcoming environment, inviting the visitor and user to enter the heart of the building. The outer side is in plasterboard and glass panes that allow visual connectivity with the adjoining foyer while preserving the façade of a building dating back to the early 20th century.
The design of the floor plans aims to bring unity and consistency, brightness and permeability, with a single architectural and aesthetic language. Elements that predominate are: the strong compact, heavy envelope of the neoclassical building with the well-defined openings, the light glass partitions which allow transparency, the plasterboard panels that act as discreet surfaces through the glass panes, but also the special wooden cladding that defines the core and the auxiliary spaces.
Ultimately, it is the Greek light diffused into each and every room that creates a source of inspiration for the users, promoting knowledge, exchange of ideas and spiritual values.