A former clinic from the 1970’s was refurbished and converted into a prototypical urban complex offering 50 student studios. The site is located on the edge of downtown Patras in contact with the expropriating zone which will eventually bring into sight the Roman Hippodrome. Along the street front, the existing building had on the first three floors, a 'representative' façade and the typical of the era, oblong projecting balconies. Due to the building’s recess on the upper floors, the façade was treated as of a 'typical' polykatoikia. In the inner courtyard side which had a considerably greater width in relation to the street’s, one encountered smaller openings and balconies along the full length of the building.
The scheme with regards to the building - city relation responds to three issues: with the dismantling of the projecting balconies to the widening of the street’s canyon; with the flatness and scale of the openings, to the new façade’s negotiation with the neighbouring neoclassical building and; with the provision of a communal program at ground level and the creation of individual balconies and French windows which refer to each separate apartment, to the activation of the inner courtyard. In the 'widened' thus street, the twelve windows with the expressed aluminium frames, frame and reflect views of the old city while the electrical blinds alter the façade throughout the day. In the inner courtyard, the new condition unravels the potentialities of activating the residual spaces of the Greek city.
The particularities of the program required the demolition of all interior wall partitions on the eight levels in order to re-establish a logic in the building’s organisation. The size of the flats varies from 20 to 48 m2. Typologically the flats have been designed as ‘lofts’ with three distinct elements: an open, single space for living; a large window, framing the views towards the city; and an interstitial layer in-between the ‘communal’ access corridor and the ‘private’ living space, where the bathrooms, kitchen and storage spaces are located.
A further element which characterised the existing building was its atrium. This vertical space becomes the social core of the building providing access to the flats while at the same time ensuring the bioclimatic benefits of a cross ventilated space.
Total Surface: 2,300 m2
Design Date: 2007
Completion Date: 2011