Interview with Dimitris Potiropoulos*
Innovative and ingenious architecture, based on creativity, research and respect for the natural environment, constitutes the philosophy and design imprint of the Potiropoulos + Partners architecture firm. The firm has won numerous awards and has received international distinctions, while it has established itself as one of the leading cutting-edge architectural firms in Greece. Dimitris Potiropoulos tells us about their latest works and the modern trends they incorporate.
What trends will prevail in the coming years in the field of luxury tourist complexes? Tell us about your latest project.
The post-covid era brings along new trends, such as those of slow living and natural living. Today’s traveler seeks to experience the vacation venue of their choice through authentic life experiences, which will allow him to gain better insight into and be involved in its culture, customs and traditions, participating essentially in its daily life and not merely to be “trapped” in a sterile environment.
One of the latest resorts we have designed, the Floating House in Costa Navarino, is one such example. The “narrative” that was invented is not just an idyllic, iconographic metaphor, but a constant intense interaction with the modern way of living which urges the user/resident to listen to the Location conversing – the omnipresent sea of Messinia in this case. The composition envisages grounds organized in zones, bringing together all the indoor and outdoor activities, reminiscent of a wooden pier or a ship at sea.
Floating House (Messinia)
Potiropoulos + Partners signs a series of emblematic projects in the area of the “Athenian Riviera”, such as the apartment and maisonette building “The Helix” at the Golf of Glyfada. What is the central “idea” of its design?
The central “idea” of The Helix is the tight recording of a white “glossy” geometric object in nature, as it opens into the landscape panorama. Its helical shape seems to bend, rotate, and lift in constant motion, evoking a dynamic and at the same time delicate feeling. The variations of natural light, the different views and the disguises of nature depending on the season and the time of day or night set up a canvas of conceptual and visual relations on which the architectural composition is woven.
The Helix (Golf of Glyfada)
“Project X”, in the Business Park of Spata, is an intricate complex that you created for the pharmaceutical industry ELPEN SA. Tell us a few words about this complex development, unprecedented for the Greek standards.
Our main choice was to invent gestures that treat the complex not merely as a function, but as a set of multiple experiences. It is an architectural language that goes beyond the standard approach of the “typical building object”, negotiating with the fundamental concepts of “flexibility” and “interaction”. The same rationale runs throughout the multiple functions of the complex – the sections of Research and Education, on the one hand and those of the Conference Hall, and especially of the Sports Hall, on the other, which introduce a different perception in terms of the program variety. The idea was to create a modern and functionally integrated facility, where people will work, organize events, play sports and spend their free time.
Project X (ELPEN SA)
A complex, recent project of yours is the Tableau Blanche, the office and shop building on Syggrou Avenue. What makes the project stand out, as it is said?
This is a pre-existing building of the 70’s in which only the supporting body is preserved, while both the facades and the interior are being redesigned. Three main principles indicate the synthetic axis of the study: The first examines alternative ways of viewing the monotonous building fronts of Syggrou Avenue, the second the unconventional treatment of the shell, and the third the sustainable character of the design. The building emerges as a narrative canvas on which different streams of exploration converge related to the existing element and the modern, the familiar and the unfamiliar, the artificial and the natural, thus stimulating the senses and emotions that correspond to the potential atmosphere of the moment.
Tableau Blanche (Syggrou ave)
* Dimitris Potiropoulos is the head of the architectural office Potiropoulos+Partners