Before stepping in, on our first visit, we started dreaming about the wonderful views the apartment would enjoy, with the Lycabettus hill located just opposite. Much to our surprise, upon entering, we discovered, that despite the fact that its fenestration opened up on three sides, the hill facade was almost blind, allowing only two narrow glimpses, both from bedrooms. The apartment was certainly spacious, with some interesting original architectural features, but it seriously lacked identity, due to a series of random interventions and add-ons from different periods of inhabitation. On top of all that, the owners asked us to redesign it as a family apartment that would have the ability το break into two independent units, possibly for rent. We embraced the challenge and set to work with a clear intention already in place. Our first priority was to redistribute the program in such a way, as to turn the core of the apartment towards Lycabettus. Furthermore, the different spaces and uses were laid out to accommodate the transformation of a family dwelling into two smaller flats just by turning the lock on two doors. The construction process that followed was very exciting! Sections of walls, both inside and outside, were removed with surgical precision, in order to connect spaces and allow natural light to enter from all sides. A small playful window was opened between the kitchen and the living room, allowing even those seated on the sofa to enjoy the green view of the hill. The beautiful hard wood and terrazzo floors were restored and filled in where needed with new patches made in situ. The colour palette reflects a reference to the building’s history as well as a desire to play with bold contrasts. The kitchen and bathroom countertops are new green terrazzo surfaces, in line with the building’s colours and the Lycabettus green. The kitchen cabinets are deep red, a colour which can also be found, along with grey, olive green and off-white, on walls and ceilings. The biggest reward came, however, when months after the completion of the project, the owners said that they are still discovering subtle elements of our design in their everyday living!
*The project’s title is borrowed from James Ivory’s 1985 film and E.M. Forster’s 1908 novel, of the same name.