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Voukourestiou, 90m2

Athens, Greece, 2023

Photography by Alina Lefa

High on Voukourestiou St. in Kolonaki, in a sleek 1980s marble-clad building with metal and tinted glass details, is a 90sm corner pied-à-terre belonging to a Milan-based family. ‘Something fun and colourful’ was their only request.

We started by stripping the apartment and reverting to the original layout: we squared filleted corners, widened bathrooms, opened up the tiny kitchen, replaced the drafty single-pane windows and balcony doors, switched interior and exterior door locations, and worked on improving the flow between spaces. We covered the crumbling black Chios marble with blonde wood and replaced the decaying metal and cracked glass balcony railings.

Inspired by the quintessential Milanese architect Aldo Rossi and his emblematic 1980s striped Cabina dell’Elba in particular, we used a vivid colour palette and striped woodwork to achieve a light, cheerful, summery feel. Furthermore, we used clear, basic geometries (stripes, squares, circles, spheres) singularly or in repetition, oversize or miniature, to achieve a playful result.

The ceilings throughout the apartment were painted sky blue, contrast with the brilliantly white walls. The kitchen and dining room console/bar were custom designed using Rossi’s signature vertical stripes, but in black and white with orange highlights. The black stripes are raised, creating a three-dimensional surface that is not merely decorative, but integral to the structure. A wall-mounted ceiling-height circular mirror opposite the kitchen multiplies the sea of stripes. Hazy blue and white tiles in a checkerboard pattern were used in the bathrooms, accentuated by black grout and fixtures.

Clusters of classic white opaline lighting fixtures were created on the ceilings: two quartets of squares in the kitchen and a circle of spheres above the dining table.