Intervention in the Listed Historical Building of the Nicoloudis Mansion and Arcade on Panepistimiou 41 Street

(Eleytheriou Venizelou), 1998-2000

Restoration of the listed important historical Nicoloudis Mansion and Arcade, the first commercial arcade in Athens. This involved the surviving two thirds of the original complex, as the Stadiou street section had been demolished  two decades earlier. The building was found in disarray, both in the state of the exterior and in most internal spaces. The project was coupled with structural enhancements at places to provide additional resistance against earth-quakes, the provision of an additional egress stair-way, new modern office-interiors suitable for use by Alpha Bank, the building’s owner, and the corresponding mandatory full upgrade of all electromechanical installations. The new double modern elevators served in parallel as an enhancement of the structural system, while all other enhancements were as discrete as possible. Open plan, mandatory  for the bank’s needs and most easily implemented in the 1st to 3rd floor  where the internal structure of the listed building had mostly perished, was successfully implemented while the 4th and 5th floor historical residences with high ceilings and the classical décor surviving, were meticulously restored and adapted to elegant  professional tastes.

The intervention included at a later stage with the fortunate agreement of the inspired owners, an innovative introduction of a 2-storey space centrally, next to the main-stair-way, between 2nd and 3rd floors in order to resemble previous form of the building with less intensive occupation (the space had been later enclosed, as it was originally a central open court for lighting). In addition, ‘restauro-lasur’ colouring was provided for the main-stair-way and main–elevation, and the colour was elegantly embedded in the plaster at the rear elevation, at locations where that was technically possible. The new electromechanical installations, were introduced discretely, with a minimal abstracted approach consistent with the minimal treatment of the open-plan office area. Worn plaster decorations in the arcade were replaced consistently, marble décor was cleaned and completed when missing, while shop façade elements were reconstructed based on consistent drawings, with precision and care.

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