A previously hidden central light shaft guides light into this formerly dark and closed apartment in Athens, which was designed by the local architects Point Supreme Architects.
In the center of the city, on the sixth floor of an Athens Polykatoikia from the 1980s – a concrete block of family apartments with stepped balconies – is the two-bedroom Trikoui apartment owned by a young couple.
The apartment used to be small and cramped with small rooms and hallways, and natural light and outside views were very limited. The owners wanted to open up the interior space to create a brighter space that would better suit modern living.
Point Supreme Architects redesigned the floor plan to create a single, open space that unites the living, dining and kitchen areas.
At the center of the renovation was a previously closed light shaft that penetrates the center of the apartment.
The architects installed generous windows on all four sides of the concrete shaft, which now bring light into the formerly dark interior of the apartment.
“These create deep views through the apartment and create fascinating lighting effects during the day; you can follow the entire course of the sun from morning to evening,” the studio told Dezeen.
In the absence of partitions, a range of colored, custom-made built-in furniture help define different zones and functions in the open space.
This includes a storage wall made of green-stained plywood that runs the length of one side of the apartment.
A light pink kitchen with a marble worktop surrounds the central light shaft, while a nearby island cupboard houses appliances in dark pink.
The custom-made wooden dining table with a steel frame that runs next to the kitchen doubles as a kitchen island with a red Corian hob.
“The clients also like to cook and have friends over,” the architects explained.
“That’s why we decided to open up the kitchen and ‘distribute’ it around the room so that cooking and preparing a meal becomes a social activity, connected and at the center of what is happening in the apartment. It’s not even a room, it’s a collection of objects. “
The entrance area is surrounded by a timber frame wall and a wall of bright blue wardrobes spans the hallway between the two bedrooms. The golden curtain that hides the apartment’s study is an element that appears in many of the studio’s projects.
“It’s a very unexpected, ‘formal’ element that appears informally, on the periphery, in a relatively nondescript space,” the studio explained. “The curtain reverses this situation and inspires a playful attitude.”
Floor coverings also help to define the different rooms: a mosaic floor outlines the kitchen area, while oak parquet is used throughout the living area. Blue square tile and stone are used in the bathrooms, and a red epoxy floor marks the entrance.
“Colors and materials are used strategically throughout the space to formulate the characters of the various constructions, furniture and elements,” said the studio. “They work through complementarity; they organize relationships and opposites.”
“One of the first elements that was chosen was the pink light shaft that works in continuity with the warm wooden floor of most apartments – the pink color of the shaft,” the studio continued.
“The different colors and textures act differently with the light, some reflect and some absorb it, so that the room works really fantastic in the different light conditions during the day.”
Point Supreme Architects, founded in 2008 in Rotterdam by Konstantinos Pantazis and Marianna Rentzou and now based in Athens, is known for its vivid colors, patterns and textures.
In 2015, it added patterned tiles, geometric screens, and bright yellow stairs to another apartment in the Greek capital to create a postmodern interior.
The photography is by Yannis Drakoulidis.