This project is a radical reconstruction of the ground floor apartment in Athens. The project was commissioned by a young couple wishing to use it as its permanent residence. The basic requirements of this assignment were: a) to design the spaces so as to meet the couple’s needs for a spacious, bright living – room, in close with the courtyard while at the same time clearly separating the private from the public zone of the residence, b) to fundamentally conserve and reinforce the building and c) to keep the existing plants and create a Mediterranean low – maintenance garden. It was requested that a private main entrance was created from the courtyard and, simultaneously, to eliminate access to the communal staircase of the building. In addition to the above, it was desired to achieve an improved energy performance of the building shell and to integrate a fireplace and a large bookshelf.
The basic principle of the study was to introduce the “day” zone to the south, not only for bio-climatic reasons, but also to assure direct accessibility from the courtyard and unobstructed view to the opposite grove. The bedroom zone, with access to a private first floor balcony enabled by the plot’s slope, was transferred to the northwest side. It was decided to maintain intact and visible the system of beams and pillars on the north side, which was the result of the old densely partitioned plan. This remained as the “old rooting system”, over which the new residence evolved, and enabled to maintain the total height of three meters in the “day” zone- living room, dining room and kitchen. To the northwest side balcony a pergola for climbing plants was designed, to protect from the west and create a natural privacy filter from the opposite neighboring properties.
The building was totally stripped up to the bearing structure. All installations were dismantled (electricity, water, heat, sewage). Pillars and beams were reinforced with FRPs. A new system for autonomous heating was installed, using natural gas. All masonry and superstructure were thermally insulated. The new aluminum frames were chosen to have thermal breaks and insulated glazing with special coatings. Both residence zones can be cross ventilated to reduce the need for artificial cooling during the summer period.
The project was selected for the 7th Biennale of Young Greek Architects, December 2012
PROJECT: REDEVELOPMENT – RECONSTRUCTION OF A GROUND-FLOOR APARTMENT
LOCATION: ATHENS, GREECE
CONSTRUCTED AREA: 128 SQ. M.
CONSTRUCTION YEAR: 2008-2009
CONSULTING ENGINEERS: E. SKARI, CIVIL ENGINEER
H. PANGALOU, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT