Dimitris Thomopoulos dresses the Bodossaki Foundation in dark hues. ―
The architectural treatment of the Bodossaki Foundation Headquarters in Athens, by Dimitris Thomopoulos, is a research in expressing depth, by selecting appropriate colors and materials. The client brief requested the radical remodeling of all the office interiors, as well as the design of a new façade, with an urban dimension.
The building is situated in the center of Athens, in-between neoclassical mansions, on a 205 m2 site. It includes seven floors of office space on pilotis, a basement and a roof terrace. The initial design was by architect Pericles Sakellarios, in 1975.
The load-bearing structure, made entirely of reinforced concrete, as well as the adjacent buildings, create all the restrictions and prescribe the particular character of the intervention. The main idea was to create a new façade that converses with the adjacent buildings, as well as with the previous design.
Considering the solids and voids of the preexisting building, the architects introduce a new rhythm of openings on the front, consistent with the new functions at the interior. The existing openings in the previous, reinforced concrete façade, are reordered and are placed in 80cm recess from the building line. All new openings are clad in metallic frames coated in charcoal hues, to accentuate depth. The new façade is dressed in sandblasted Sinai marble, and turns towards the party wall in order to create a dialogue with the urban fabric. On the side, the marble cladding is engraved with the Foundation’s mark.
At the interior, all office spaces are arranged around a core that includes the stairwell and auxiliary services. The transition between the corridor and the office spaces is highlighted with a 60cm-thick oak wooden frame, that becomes an important compositional element. Earthly tones, transparencies and contrasts, recreate all interior spaces.
The Bodossaki Foundation remodeling is a radical, yet discrete architectural statement, that considers the history of the building, as well as its relation to the city. Design manipulations through colors and natural materials, create something new, and highlight all the latent architectural qualities of the 1970ies building that previously stood there.