Open House Athens 2015: architectural guided tours


open house 2015 logo, open house Athens 2015, architectural guided visits

 photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

The previous weekend 15th-17th May 2015 buildings of great architectural interest opened their gates to the public in Athens. Thus, the public-not only residents of Athens but also visitors - was given a great opportunity of guided visits by volunteers in private and public buildings. Not only had they had the chance to realize the meaning and the value of architectural design, but also to find out more of Greek architecture. The city and its buildings appear different than in everyday routine.

Cultural Buildings

1. Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in the Kerameikos district

islamic art museum, benaki museum, kerameikos district museum of islamic art

photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

The Islamic art collections of the Benaki Museum are housed in a complex of neo-classical buildings. The complex comprises of a two-storey house and a three-storey one of the early 20th century which were joined together and were restored by architect P. Kalligas.

islamic art museum interior03

islamic art museum interior04

islamic art museum interior05

photo credits: Maria Kakoulidou

islamic art museum detail02

islamic art museum detail03

photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

During the restoration works a section of the ancient wall of Athens and an ancient tomb were uncovered at the level of the houses’ foundations. It was decided to remain in situ and the basement level should be redesigned so as to be accessible to visitors. The exhibited finds are most impressive and evoke historical excitement.

islamic art museum interior06

photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

2. Theatre at Exarcheia

theatre exarcheia01

photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

theatre exarcheia04This interesting neoclassical building built in the 19th century was the residence of Genadi family. The initial building was a two-storey house and later a three-storey building was added in the backyard. A century after its construction, the architect Constantinos Dekavallas undertakes the restoration of the building and its conversion into a theater. The architect maintained the facade and the entrance to function as the theatre entrance and foyer. The rest of the rooms were reformed to fulfill the purposes of the theatre. The theatre hall should meet the theatre technical requirements. The acoustic ceiling was designed to have the look of an outdoor canvas tent. the seats look like the seating of an outdoor cinema. The false ceiling and seats follow the typical neoclassical color palette. Takis Vouteris and Annita Dekavallas play on this theatre.







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theatre exarcheia interior01

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theatre exarcheia interior04

theatre exarcheia interior05

photo credits: Maria Kakoulidou

On our way to the theatre we came across a legendary building of modern Greek architecture, the Blue apartment block. It was designed by architect Kyriakoulis Panayiotakos, one of the important representatives of the modern movement in Greece. Even the great Le Corbusier was impressed by the building and noted that it was "very beautiful". Over the years the blue paint was replaced by a light gray tone. We hope that this famous building will participate in the next Open House and we will have the rare opportunity to visit the interior spaces of this interesting building.

blue block of flats

photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

3. Railway Cultural Venue at Rouf

rouf train01

photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

The train at Rouf multiplex culture is a unique venue of its kind in the world. The train is a monument to modern Greek history recalling memories of the Second World War and has nine carriages which were restored maintaining their original heritage equipment. It includes one of the two Wagons Restaurant of the Orient Express constructed in 1924, the Greek wagon, one Bulgarian and one locomotive type Brenda dated from 1947. A wagon has been transformed into a small, fully-equipped theatre stage, one wagon functions as music stage, a restored pre-war dining car is a restaurant,and an old wooden cargo opens as a bar. The outdoor platform of the Railway Carriage Theatre houses different art performances.

rouf orient express

rouf train stage

rouf train bar 

rouf greek wagon

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photo credits: Maria Kakoulidou                                                      photo credits: Ifigeneia Kotitsa

rouf orient express interior01

rouf orient express interior02

photo credits: Maria Kakoulidou



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