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Architects Unfolding architectural practice – Contemporary architecture, Residence design and construction, Interior design, Bioclimatic architecture, Sustainable design, Athens, Greece
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Apartment refurbishment in Ano Kypseli, Athens

Total refurbishment

Project: Apartment refurbishment in Ano Kypseli, Athens
Type: Total refurbishment
Location: Ano Kypseli, Athens, Greece
Area: 100 m2
Year: 2012

Photography: Stathis Mamalakis


The goal of this refurbishment in the area of Ano Kypseli, Athens, was to aesthetically upgrade the upper floor of the apartment. The construction lasted two and a half months. The apartment lies on the last two floors of a block of flats, in the most densely populated area of Europe. That is on the 6th and 7th floor, including a large part of the top terrace.

On level 6 of the apartment lies the main entrance, which brings the guest directly to an open plan living room, kitchen and dining area. Exactly opposite to the entrance, there is a staircase leading to the upper level (level 7). The architectural practice was asked to redesign this staircase, making it more elaborate and functional. The existing wooden and extremely steep staircase was replaced by a new metallic.

Level 7 of the apartment underwent a total and major refurbishment. The bedroom, private bathroom and terrace, overlooking the urban landscape of Athens, were transformed to a new continuous space, with clear architectural forms.

As it can be seen on the floor plan drawing, the new bathroom is an extension to the existing bedroom. The large sliding doors of the bedroom were maintained and a similarly large opening was used in the bathroom. Through that, the view towards the urban landscape of Athens is breathtaking. The new bedroom space is re-defined: the new bathroom is placed outside the basic volume of the bedroom, as an extension. The space is given for a better, more functional metallic staircase. A line of services is created. The bathroom, the staircase and the new built-in wardrobe are aligned, allowing the rest of the bedroom to have a clear open space. The use of α polished cast-concrete low wall between the staircase and the bedroom creates a clear boundary in space.

The new bathroom is doubled in size and comprises of a rectangular space with two elongated walls. One of the walls includes all the typical functions of a luxurious bathroom (wall-mounted faucet, built-in cistern, wall-mounted shower heads and shower jets) and the opposite wall has been covered by a large glazed opening (dimensions 3.60 X 2.00 metres) overlooking the city. The materials used are grey polished cast-concrete on the long walls and large dark-grey granite-type tiles on the floor and small wall. All the bath accessories are black.

The construction also included  functional –apart from the architectural- interventions. A new system of plumbing (for water supply and sewage) had to be created from scratch, due to the new bathroom space. The radiators of the top floor were replaced by new designer ones. A new layer of waterproofing material was laid of the terrace floor due to humidity problems that were observed on the lower floor. The existing ceramic tiled roof was dismantled in order to add a thick layer of thermal insulation, to upgrade the Uvalue of the roof. The new large opening that was placed in the bathroom has a low Uvalue and low-e glass.

The architectural practice was asked to also redesign the private terrace, which can be reached through the bedroom. The space is an ‘L’ shape that surrounds the existing house volume and has an amazing view to the city of Athens, the surrounding mountains as well as the city’s port, Piraeus. The old-style stone pavement was replaced by the large granite-type tiles, the same as the bathroom floor. This emphasizes the continuity of the interior and exterior space as well as the size of the terrace. The programmatic needs of the client were satisfied by the construction of a new barbeque bench. This can be used as an open-air kitchen during the warm months of the year. The materials are repeated by the use of grey polished cast-concrete, which was also used in the bedroom and bathroom. The parapet around the terrace was also covered with polished cat-concrete and a series of led mounted spotlights were used to highlight the olive trees and other plants that are planted along the parapet.  The space is ideal meeting for the client’s guests during spring, summer and autumn. The open air kitchen is fully equipped and food and drinks can be served. The uninterrupted view to the chaotic urban landscape of Athens juxtaposes the serenity of this terrace, making it a quiet and hospitable space.