location:

size:

status:

year:

credits:

construction:

 

civil engineer:

mechanical engineer:

lighting design:

 

photos:

Athens, Greece

2300m2

completed

2020

John Karahalios

Elisavet Plaini

Epikyklos Technical Construction

Lykourgos Polychronopoulos

Timaios Engineering

Site Specific

Nikos Papageorgiou

Spyros Hound

Learning from Patissia

 

Green Suites is a building adjacent to Patission Avenue and close to the local metro station. It hosts a 5* hotel of 42 rooms. The gross area is 2300m2developed in 10 levels. The scope was to introduce a distinct design approach for the interiors and the façade of the building, based on a layout predetermined by the original permit.

 

The basic concept for the intervention of the interior areas is to turn the rectangular presence of the spaces into soft and fluid forms. The elimination of the actual geometrical envelope and its corners and the consistent use of color to unify the surfaces, underline the design identity of dissolution. A metal perforated lattice covers the façade of the building creating a secondary geometry that dominates over the repetitive pattern of the floors and strengthens the verticality and the coherence of the building.

 

This metal lattice is a direct reference to Toyo Ito’s Tod’s Omotesando Building.The original is treated in terms of billboard architecture, becoming a visual translation of an architectural form and not a paradigm for functional or structural solutions. The surface of Tod’s Omotesando’s envelope is turned into an “image” and transformed according to need, covering the façade of a typical commercial building at Patissia.

 

The building, being generic, is not differantiated from the structures of the surrounding environment, and does not correspond to its function or its public nature. The decorative façade signifies the building by invoking the dipole of duck/decorated shed as presented by Venturi/Brown/Izenour in their book “Learning From Las Vegas”. It is undeniably a “decorated shed” since it conveys a visual message by covering the building as a billboard ad. However it also functions as a “duck”, referring to the forms of the celebrated contemporary architecture. Charles Jencks has tackled the issue when he described that while modern architecture of today is rejecting explicit symbolism or frivolous appliquéornament, it has distorted the whole building into one big ornament, a signifier of its own self.

 

This contradiction of contemporary architecture springs from the inadequacy of the discipline to give sustainable answers and produce vision on questions such as tourism and hospitality. The need to impress and differentiate initiates a perpetual invention of new forms driven by the culture of mass consumption of images. Elaborate ornamentation, rare materials and all sorts of excess wealth demonstration do not constitute fundamentally different actions to lyrical minimalism, infinity pools and dynamic gestures on rocky landscapes. Their common starting point is the cult of the extraordinary experience and the religion of personal desire.

 

Within the frame of free market and economy, the role of architecture is inherently systemic and descriptive of the predominant dynamics. For this particular building, the profound replication of a famous architectural form can render as a comment on the competition of the post-modern condition and the way it is inscribed on any given place. It is the mirror on which the contradictions of an entire discipline are reflected.

Ground Floor Plan

Typical Floor Plan

Terrace Floor Plan

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ek-magazine

issue 252

November 2020

p. 120