THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF ELLINIKI ETAIREIA ELLINIKI ETAIREIA considered essential the systematic recording of buildings in the Municipality of Athens, in order for their number, quality, and the conservation status to be determined and in order to provide the overall picture that will allow further evaluation of this architectural heritage. The Programme “Protection and promotion of the architectural heritage of the 1930s (Modern movement) of the city of Athens” is a project advocated and supported by the ELLINIKI ETAIRIA – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage aiming at: a) the systematic recording of the residential buildings of the modern movement (number, quality, and conservation status). From the data of this inventory an overall picture can be composed, which enables the further qualitative evaluation of the samples of this specific architectural heritage and the definition of the degree of their protection. b) comprehensive recommendations for the buildings’ restoration, such as the creation of an expanded legal framework for the protection and the provision of incentives and assistance to owners for the maintenance of these buildings. c) institutional awareness on issues of listing and promotion of those buildings.
The documentation includes a list of around 1300 residential buildings of the Modern Movement in the Municipality of Athens. They were built in the 1930s and still survive scattered in the city centre and its neighbourhoods. This inventory of the recent architectural heritage of the capital city concerns one- and two-storey buildings or apartment blocks (polykatoikies), with pure residential or mixed use, constructed by anonymous empirical manufacturers or leading architects and engineers of the time. It should be noted that the current geographical distribution of these buildings in Athens is only indicative of their initial distribution in the urban fabric of the city in the 1930s, as a large number – and certainly amongst them many excellent examples – have been demolished. It should be noted that only a fraction of Modern Movement buildings has been listed; this research is probably the only systematic attempt to document them. It is often difficult to distinguish buildings of the 1930s from later ones influenced by modernism. Furthermore, stylistic features do not always consist of a purely modern vocabulary, as in some cases elements of classicism and Art Deco are to be found. The selection of buildings on which no date was found during fieldwork or in literature or archival sources was made based on the characteristics that connect them with a pure form of the Modern.
At this stage, the documentation is limited to the seven Districts of the Municipality of Athens, although similar buildings also exist in the greater Athens area. The material was recorded on documentation forms, which included full data for every house, architectural-typological features and details, and information regarding the date of construction, the architects and the civil engineers of the project, etc. It should be noted that since building archives prior to 1950 have not been preserved by the building authorities, the documentation of buildings of that era faces many challenges.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Click here for a bibliography on the Modern Movement in Greece.
- Catherine Dimitsantou-Kremezi, Architect, Member of the Council of Architectural Heritage (CAH) : member of the Programme Monitoring Committee
- Aris Zambikos, Architect, Member of the Council of Architectural Heritage (CAH) : member of the Programme Monitoring Committee
- Dr. Konstantinos Koutsadelis, Archaeologist, Secretary of the Council of Architectural Heritage (CAH) : member of the Programme Monitoring Committee
- Pavlos Kremezis, Civil Engineer, President of the Council of Architectural Heritage (CAH): member of the Programme Monitoring Committee
- Katerina Chatzikonstantinou, Architect: Programme Manager (2013) / Research (2008, 2012-2013)
The documentation of the buildings was made by the architects: Maria Vidali (D5), Myrto Epiphaniu (D3, D4), Anastasia Nikopoulou (D3, D4), Katerina Chatzikonstantinou (D1 , D2 , D6 , D7), Dimitris Chatzopoulos (D7)
Volunteer assistance was offered by architectural school students: Vassia Maragaki Kostas Kandilas, Michalis Pitidis, Labis Taouland
Photos of buildings: Eva Darara (ED), Ioanna Roufopoulou (IR), www.ioannaroufopoulou.gr, Katerina Chatzikonstantinou (KC), Jeff Vanderpool (JV), www.jeffvanderpool.com
Design and layout of publication: Common Sense – Fokion Kopanaris, Revekka Vital
SUPPORT The publication entitled “Athenian houses…” was made possible with the support of the Representation of the European Commission in Greece. The research and digital recording were undertaken with the support of the A. G. Leventis Foundation (2012-2013) and the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection (2008).
The ELLINIKI ETAIREIA expresses its sincere gratitude for the generous support that made this research and its publication possible .
IMPLEMENTATION BODY The ELLINIKI ETAIREIA – Society for the the Environment and Cultural Heritage was established in 1972 and since then has dedicated itself to the promotion of the natural and cultural wealth of Greece. The protection and promotion of the built environment and the architecture of cities is part of this effort, aiming at informing and raising awareness among residents and authorities.
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