The Blue Condominium in Exarcheia

Architecture / architecture, Athens, blue, collective housing, design, interwar, urban planning
The Blue Condominium in Exarcheia

Built in 1932 by Kostis Antonopoulos and designed by Kiriakoulis Panagiotakos, the magnificent blue building was never fully completed, but it still remains as innovative for the modernist 30s being also appreciated by Le Corbusier who acclaimed that “it is very beautiful”.

The building is different due to its special design of the common areas. Actually, it consists of two 6 story independent buildings with different entrances which are related through the roof and the basement. It also had a meeting room which later was modified into 5 apartments raising their number from 32 to 37. The uniqueness of the blue building is not given only by its color and style. The laundry room at the terrace, electric appliances from Switzerland in the kitchens, storage spaces meant to facilitate housewives, maids’ rooms outside the apartments and even a swimming pool, which unfortunately was never built, were unique amenities at that time.

The building with 37 apartments encouraged communication between the inhabitants due to its well-designed common areas, being “a home with human functions”, as Leonidas Kyrkos said. The tenant also mentioned that the spaces allowed social meetings, so everyone knew his neighbors. It can be considered a vertical neighborhood because all the activities took place inside the building and especially during December 1944 events when a sense of solidarity could be noticed in the building due to the strong relationship developed between the tenants.

Although it’s been left to its faith by the authorities, since it has lost its characteristic color due to some interventions, being in danger of losing its identity, when you get inside you get into another era, feeling created by the reminiscent elements of luxury.

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