In this ambitious housing experiment, a 1970’s building in the center of Patras was refurbished and converted into a unique urban complex offering 48 student studios and various communal spaces. The scheme is a rational, systematic and integrated approach towards housing in an attempt to achieve high densities without sacrificing quality or comfort. Fitted with state-of-the-art materials and bioclimatic applications, the building responds to the tenants’ demands for high quality, flexibility, security and low energy consumption. In order to re-establish a logic in the building’s layout, the interior wall partitions on all eight levels were brought down to create flats with an area varying from 20 to 48 sqm. The flats have been designed as ‘lofts’ with three distinct elements: an open, single space for living; a large window offering spectacular views of the city; and an interstitial layer in-between the ‘communal’ access corridor and the ‘private’ living space, where the bathrooms, kitchen and storage spaces are located. Equal emphasis was given to the design of the communal spaces. Apart from the ground level, access to all flats is through a communal, skylit atrium. Once a lightwell, this vertical space is the ‘social core’ of the building, enhancing at the same time the natural cross ventilation system of its spaces.
Images © Yiorgis Yerolymbos