Point Supreme elevates basement living with colourful design in Athens
Greek architecture studio Point Supreme transforms a neglected basement into a playfully designed apartment filled with colour and texture in the Athenian residential neighbourhood of Ilioupoli
An unfinished, lower ground level apartment in an existing block of flats in the sleepy neighbourhood of Ilioupoli, Athens, coming in a fairly compact size – just 56 sq m – and a small budget for a residential redesign, may not seem like the most exciting commission at first glance; but architecture studio Point Supreme’s Konstantinos Pantazis and Mariana Rentzou beg to differ.
‘The budget was small, but the owners were a lovely couple,’ the Athens based partners recall. ‘They liked our work and decided to ask us to design the space assuming that we would refuse because of the limited scope and possibilities. But we couldn’t resist taking on the challenge after seeing their strong, conscious desire to work with us. Plus the space felt like a marvellous warm cave, light entering from above, we could feel that there was a certain magic to it; it felt like a great opportunity to create a home unlike ordinary apartments.’
And true to their word, the architects composed a design that feels a world away from your typical apartment interior. Embracing the existing space’s rawness and the structure’s exposed concrete, the Pantazis and Rentzou worked with a range of different materials and textures to create a tactile, playful, largely open plan home. Timber and glass partitions separate various uses and heavy, brightly coloured curtains add privacy where needed.
The architects employed their signature approach of uniting different styles and often, seemingly mismatched features into a coherent, unexpected whole. Now, the redesigned space includes from wood to steel, fabric and salvaged cotto ceramic tiles in a variety of colours and shades. ‘[The tiles] were typically used during the 1970s in holiday homes throughout Greece to cover exterior surfaces such as verandas and porticos next to gardens,’ the team explains. ‘Their roughness complements ideally the roughness of the concrete, and is reminiscent of an earthy surface.’
One of the biggest challenges Pantazis and Pentzou faced was avoiding ‘standard design decisions that would normalize the experience and kill the magic’, they add. No fear of that in this Ilioupoli apartment, where deep colour meets natural textures, all softly lit through basement windows to create a dreamy quality that makes you forget you are in Athens’ densely built metropolis. §