Athens, Greece

85m2

completed

2017

John Karahalios

Elisavet Plaini

Kostas Tsiambaos

Peggy Loutou

(Hellenic Association of Antiquarians & Art Dealers)

Christos Georgios Kritikos

Epikyklos Technical Construction

Nikos Papageorgiou

location:

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special collaborator:

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photo by Paris Tavitian

APARTMENT 1987

 

This is an installation in which different spatial and temporal conditions co-exist. The objective is the revival of the feeling of a typical Greek apartment of the 1980s as a holistic experience.

The house is supposed to be situated in an apartment block built at the end of the 1970s and located in a neighborhood of central Athens, where a continuous building system was adapted. Its size is 80m2 and has two bedrooms, a living area, kitchen and bathroom. It is the kind of apartment that the majority of middle class families would chose.

The decade of 1980 is in the middle of a transformation from the enclosed envelopes of the 1960s to the open plans of today. This evolution can be summarized through three main issues:

The Fall of the Walls: The separation of living room and dining room into two distinct entities has already started to fade since the 1970s. A continuous combined room becomes the norm, with the exception of the entrance where a hall or some kind of obstacle is still present. In the 1990s the differentiation of the entrance area is also abolished in order to gain space.

The Expansion of the Public: Public space gradually becomes bigger and includes more rooms into a singular one. It becomes the vital area of the apartment. At the end of the decade, kitchen is also integrated.

The Journey of the Kitchen: Kitchen is in a transitional phase, since it has become adjacent to the main living area but it still remains a clearly defined room that can be isolated. It becomes bigger in size, its functional areas expand and it also includes a casual dinner table. As social changes unfold, mainly with the emancipation of women and the international design trends change, kitchen is gradually revealed to the public, initially with a window or a counter, until the arrival of the island and its full integration into the living room.

As for the evolution of the rest of the areas during that period, the bedrooms become smaller, the bathroom still remains in its minimal functional dimensions, while service room, pantries and other secondary spaces seize to exist. The overall height tends to be lower, while storage spaces above the bathrooms are common.

Based on the initial assumption, the frame of the hypothetical apartment has been designed according to the national structural regulations of 1959, before its amendments of 1985 that were enacted in the wake of the three major earthquakes (Thessaloniki, Athens, Kalamata). The columns and beams are arranged in a non-canonical manner. Subsequent structures would adapt bigger columns and beams, greater spans and canonical system of arrangement. Within this decade the industrial production of concrete and the use of high endurance steel prevailed.

The materials and its qualities were mainly selected by the contractors, depending on the area of the development and the targeted market. It was not uncommon for the purchaser to get involved in the selection process. The floors were mainly wooden or marble until the mid and late 80s where tiles started to become the main choice for middle class apartments. Usually bedrooms had wooden floor and for the rest of the house there was a choice of 2 or 3 qualities of marble, depending on the importance of the area or even terrazzo for secondary areas and balconies. Sliding aluminum doors had already replaced wooden frames since the 1970s. The general design approach is mostly apparent at the bathroom and kitchen tiles, where shapes and patterns in bold combinations are the norm. Wall paints are gradually washed to more pale tones, bridging the 1970s palette of deep earthly colors to that of the minimal whites of the 2000s.

The Fall of the Walls

The Expansion of the Public

The Journey of the Kitchen

Materials

Colors

Patterns

LIFO

Issue #504

January 25, 2017