Right in the heart of Patras an old industrial building of 1910, is transformed into a new architectural office and exhibition space. The building has been there since 1910, starting as Agouridis’ distillery and later as the famous carpentry Karydis’ shop, until about 2005 when it stopped operating.
This building has full coverage and is a total of 136.42 sq.m. It is a ground floor and an open space with stone masonry and wooden roofs. The main goal of the architectural study and restoration of the building was to preserve its basic structural elements and their natural accent through minimal interventions.
In the first phase, the structure of the roof was maintained and strengthened. Until now, its coating was with asbestos-cement slabs which were removed and replaced by polyurethane thermal insulation panels. On the new roof covering, illuminated pieces are placed along its length, which will offer the space additional natural light. In terms of interior, it is an open space with a stone partition at the back, where art and architecture coexist. At the center of the space, stands a table, 4.5 meters long, which functions as the core of the office. It is the dominant element of the space, and it is framed by two emblematic large plants – trees. At the backside, there is the bathroom, with specifications for use by disabled people. There is also the dining area with a free kitchen for breaks.
The philosophy of the office is based to a large extent on the dynamic relationship between nature and architecture. Free-living spaces have been blocked by buildings and roads, and the natural environment has shrunk. Creating a yard may complete a project; however, the office considered it more challenging to “move” this garden inside. The two trees, with the natural light coming from the ceiling lights, enhance the sense of life in the new office workplace, while at the same time there is a dialogue being created between the interior and the city, through the glass façade.
Overall, it is a space where the work context takes on different forms every day, with the skylights on the ceiling to create a different, totally diffused lighting, throughout the day. Since the beginning of this project, the main goal was to create an open space that will constantly change its form, hosting different exhibitions and being open to the public at the same time.