Saturday, April 11, 2009

+... My FaVe PrOjEcT...+

A unique garage transformation in Athens, Greece
text by Dossy Iordanidou for MAISON & DECORATION
(the Best Greek magazine for interior design inspirations)

A previously run down garage has been converted into an exclusive design interior, which reflects the artistic and vivacious personality of its owner. Mr. Andeas Manolioudakis the co-owner of the exhibition Space M-art in Athens, is the proud owner of this residence. When a
creative individual full of passion such as this man commissions his childhood friend and talented architect Kiriakos Katsaros to convert this 160sqm space into a lifelong dream full of surprises and glamour, you know that the outcome will be a surprise.

This project had numerous barriers to break and challenges to solve. The biggest question was ‘How do you convert a dark basement garage into a livable residence which does not fall short of naturally day light. The Greek architect Kiriakos Katsaros who is based in London, together with Andreas Manolioudakis tackled problems such as this head on and proved once more that where there’s a will there’s a way. Light was brought in throughout the residence by taking advantage of the opposite unsheltered 3 storey building which was converted it into a sheltered inclusion within the interior consisting of a glazed roof top, hosting the glorified translucent kitchen. Another jewel like element is the retention of the small internal garden which brings the outdoors indoors.

This one bedroom residence is not your typical stereotype when your master bedroom is almost an apartment at 60sqm. The owner and ultimate bachelor requested for a spacious and glorified bedroom incorporating the study, walk in closet, master bathroom and the ability to be treated as a private space when needed. The light was tackled in the bedroom through a magnificent approach. The original parallel wall to the garage entrance was cladded with glazed tiles. In order for this to be achieved the ground had to be dug deeper in order for it to sustain the support.

However due to the owners social hosting scene, a flexible guest room was cleverly designed into the living room. This was achieved by using mattresses as sofas and having a curtain that you
can draw out to create privacy when wanted.

Works of art and decorative elements surround this interior to make the space unique and skeptical as all elements have a meaning to them and are created by up and coming artists. Most of the pieces are from M-art Space were Manolioudakis shares his second passion which is art along with his sister Eugenia. It’s all in the family one may say. Eugenia is also an interior art consultant. For this interior besides the art work that gives a strong presence to the space the walls are painted with two neutral tones creating a free atmosphere to play with paintings and furniture. An example of this, is the old wooden and rustic kitchen table combined with the Mademoiselle chair by Philippe Starck for Kartell. In the kitchen you will notice that there are no upper cabinets and nowhere in the interior will you see something touching the ceiling.
This of course is intentional and very much part of the scheme incorporated with hidden symbolism. Andrea tells us that this is something that is personal to him. It’s the emotional aspect of the open space and the idea of letting the spirit fly around the interior creating an
intense feeling of something that is set free.

In this residence highly detailed technicality has been given to the lighting concept and many furniture items have been designed by the architect. As a whole every detail has been carefully thought through. A key element to this is the master bathroom. Another generous space
completed with white tile mosaic throughout, a rain shower and a tub to fit 4 people. This bathroom gives a new meaning to what we have considered up to now of being a ‘social space’. All of the plants have been carefully selected and proposed by the architectural office Greenways. This task was not easy due to the high levels of humidity within the interior.

One can tell that this house has been thought of for years. Some women think of their wedding dress, the church and the flowers from the day that they are born, one man has been thinking of his house from the day that he was born. The atmosphere, the meaning, the symbolism, the essence and the glorification of something that is brought back to life from a man’s space for his toys to a man’s space for his life. This man is called Andreas Manolioudakis and the creator is Kiriakos Katsaros.

photo © Pavlos Tsokounoglou
Styling Agapi Tsakpinoglou for MAISON & DECORATION

Thanks 2 Yatzer

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