Palco My Loft by IF [untitled] Architecture
On hearing the word Loft you can’t help but think of New York old factories that were magically transformed into artists’ habitants. If you are familiar with the history of lofts, glam Andy Warhol parties also come to mind when visualising the definition of the word.
New York, Paris, London and practically any city that wants to call itself a Metropolis boasts lofts of contemporary design that break the rules but still mingle to their surroundings. Athens couldn’t be an exception to the rule and spaces like Thission Lofts are becoming a common sight in the city centre. The team that is behind the construction of Thission Lofts has added one more architectural jewel to Athens. IF [untitled] Architecture recently renovated a 5000sq factory building downtown.
The industrial complex is located near the ancient and busy Peiraios Avenue, which connects Athens with the port of Peiraios. Its urban surrounding is a curious juxtaposition between the Acropolis and the building remains of the migrated industries. Currently, the influx of cultural institutions and new residents are driving the rapid transformation of the area into one of Athens’ cultural hubs.
The building was originally built for the company ‘Palco’, one of the largest manufacturers for T-shirts in Greece. The building has been left unused since the manufacturing moved out in the late 80′s during which period the building played a significant role. The existing building is currently converted into a series of large contemporary residential lofts on the upper floors, whereas the street level is transformed into a large and open cultural space with exhibition and meeting facilities, dinning and reading spaces called the Hub.
The design uncovers and emphasizes the building’s industrial spatial character by exposing the striking heavy and frank concrete superstructure on its interiors. The main space of the Loft is left open and a stage has been designed to accommodate various performances. The library works as a background theatrical prop to the stage and the kitchen becomes part of the bookshelves system. The bookshelves prop can be open and become a single seating area for the reader or close of and become a screening façade.
PHOTOGRAPHS: PANAGIOTIS VOUMVAKIS