Floating Monolith

Athens, Greece

A ground floor shop of an old Athenian apartment building in the area of Kallithea is converted into a ground floor private residence, thus forming a broad framework of architectural intervention. Underneath the proposal’s basic points, one can trace the fundamental synthetic principle of an occupant living on the ground floor in plain sight.

Privacy is secured through the discretion of design. A systematic layering juxtaposed over the existing envelope seeks to resolve the aim set. Reversibility of construction independent of the existing structural system has been of paramount importance, both interior as well as exterior of the shell.

Steel, wood and plaster provide the vocabulary for a minimal architectural interplay. Facade, as the main key figure of the residence and its “public” face towards the neighborhood, reveals the two-story height of the existing space, introducing transparency, security and shading through a system of sliding blinds. A floating light metal structure, central to the geometry of the space, accommodates the private uses of the residence. Moreover, transparency of space secured by the perforated wooden floor allows the gradual unfolding of the vast majority of other functions. Storage areas combined with the elevated wooden floor are wrapped around the main architectural gesture thus creating the conditions for one to appropriate the space as one’s own.

The proposed architectural intervention attempts to develop a dialectical relationship between the existing situation and the final design, in a subtle yet expressing manor where the rules of structural construction are met in full.

Project Team

I. Diamanti
I. Kartsonakis (for the preliminary design)

Structural Study

A. Kontizas

Light Design


Art Sculpture

Alexia Psaradeli