Alexandros Spentzaris, Giorgos Chatzopoulos, Giorgos Avgerinou
Nowadays a new necessity emerges. The remodeling of the old Athenian condos. These building shells, which were at large responding to the housing boom of the past century are now called to house new programs and contemporary ways of life. How can we conceive of a new architecture that will respond current specifications and will emerge organically from these old structures?
At an existing typical Athenian condominium, we were called to house an emerging manufacturer of guitar pedals. The dense program contains a paint shop, assembly, sound test rooms, offices and a concert space. The existing building – originally a storage space, imposes unfavorable site conditions. The building is a result of a repetitive floor plan which does not meet the needs of a small-scale industry.
Our proposal treats the existing structure as a flexible system consisting of columns and slabs. This system offers the freedom of opening new vertical connections forming rooms with double heights. The new emerging spaces adopt new visual connections through the building levels, opposing the initial floor repetition.
The plan structure is reversed. The neglected back face of the building facing north becomes the protagonist, offering unique views of the Attic landscape. The windows expand to cover larger areas of the northern façade, allowing light to penetrate deeply into the floors. A new elevated atrium is formed on the top floor, creating an office garden. By controlling the floor height and vertical connectivity we can create new hierarchies improving working conditions drastically. Deduction – in this case, adds an unexpected element. The juxtaposition between the street façade- which preserves the style of a typical Athenian condominium and the interior which is now transformed into a new colorful landscape.
The final object of the building’s function – a hand painted guitar pedal, becomes the main guide of the architectural decisions. The plan is organized around the trajectory of the pedal through the different stages of its production. The flow of the air emitted through the manufacturing defines image of the ceilings characterized by exposed systems of air ducts. Finally, the atmosphere formed by the color of each floor responds to the vivid character of the pedals.
The building is conceived as a mechanism that hides its interior complexity from the city. It is a vertical co-living landscape where work and daily rituals are inextricably intertwined. The interior allows for the organic mix of functions and the feeling of people belonging in the same team.