Greek/Canadian architectThanasis Ikonomou, founder of Studio Thanasis, has recently completed the restoration of an old Athenian apartment, adding contemporary elements that nod to the past. Since its original construction, the apartment had undergone multiple renovations. This project is an attempt to move the space both forwards and backwards, revealing layers from the past while celebrating its future. It acts as a canvas to experiment with space and thus is a collage of different rooms of different characters.
Its name “House in a House” is linked with the starting point of the design: a centrally located kitchen that used to be a house in itself, as three separate rooms formed the nucleus of the home. A working kitchen, a staging kitchen, and a suite for the apartment’s staff. The new kitchen remains the central piece, featuring a custom dark green ash wood ribbon with a dionysos marble counter which transforms from kitchen, to eating nook and to laundry room. The full-height cabinet within the same space creates a classical totem in the kitchen which contains the pantry, coffee station and refrigerator. The two bathrooms are designed to evoke two different atmospheres, the powder room is dark and contemplative while the bathing room is bright and airy. The rest of the spaces have intentionally been left unfinished, “a gift for the imagination left for its finished potential to be discovered” as the architect says.
In celebration of completing the space, artist Kleopatra Tsali and architect Thanasis Ikonomou collaborated to curate an exhibition for Open House Athens 2023. The exhibition was a blend of artworks by Kleopatra curated in the apartment under the same title “House in a House”.