The Hive Architects: Modulating Space ―
The Hive architects is a young, collaborative design practice based in Athens, led by Michalis Xirokostas and Theodore Panopoulos, with Myrto Christou and Napoleon Xirokostas as collaborators.
The Hive architects is a place where everyone has their own role, responsibilities and receives credits for their work, following the idea that two minds in unity, amplify their potential and perform as a mastermind. This framework is essential for the office’s wellbeing since it promotes equality, respect, team-growth and cooperation, which are necessary attributes for personal and collective progress.
The same principles are reflected in the design of their recently completed workspace in Athens, Greece. The office is separated in two work areas, a bathroom, and a small kitchenette. As one crosses the entrance door, they come across a wide transitional space, defined by a transparent curtain wall, which guides them to the center of the office. From there they can head for the architects’ office, or the associates’ area.
The stand-out element of the office’s composition is the transparent curtain wall that separates the office in two areas: Its geometrical steel framework is filled with transparent glazing of varied proportions, installing a grid that divides the space in finer modulations. The steel structure is protected in a smooth black matt powder coating color, in the RAL 9005 hue. Provided that the screen is prefabricated to be mounted on-site, further exposed to everyday indoor use, it requires a scratch-resistant powder coating, such as the RAL 9005 X-Pro Interpon D2525 Matt: X-Pro is the scratch-resistant technology applied to the series of superdurable powder coatings by AkzoNobel, to minimize accidents during transportation from the coating plant to the construction site, as well as to minimize further maintenance, due to heavy everyday use.
Combined with the transparent interior partition, the ten-meters-long glass façade on the street allows the sun to reach the innermost part of the office, giving a pleasant warm hue to the white space. Wooden surfaces and metal details are some of the finishing touches that accentuate the interior design. The floor is covered by a seamless cast material that compliments the workspace’s equipment. The white walls give their place to white-colored structures, such as the bookshelf, inspired by Mondrian’s minimalistic art, at the back of the associate’s long table. Composed of 3 repeating modules, the bookshelf also gives a playful appearance to the spatial experience.
A large fluid desk at the architects’ office stands in front of a vertical moss wall which welcomes the guest. The presentation corner takes the form of a comfortable sitting area giving a sense of familiarity to associates and clients alike. The long white curtain that covers the steel structure, adds theatricality to the presentation process. Plants also play a major role in the design. Apart from the moss wall, large window boxes are placed outside the glass façade which host tropical and Mediterranean plants filtering the air and adding visual effects as the sunrays pass through their dense foliage.
Architecture: The Hive Architects
Color: RAL 9005 X-Pro Interpon D2525 Matt.
Photography: George Messaritakis