An article about the building, written in the popular Greek newspaper “kathimerini” from the journalist Nikos Vatopoulos
Filled with the bourgeois taste of the 1960s, which is deepening year by year with an attractive patina, the interwar settlement on the corner of Pratinou and Alkimachou initially seemed out of place, foreign and possibly annoying. It was, perhaps, the wear and tear that resembled a second skin, and which gave this two-story or three-story building an aura of the Near East. In front of me was a residential building, probably built 80 years ago, from that simple type of a petty bourgeois everyday life that one sees in Cairo or Alexandria, Beirut or Damascus. Although its uterus was Central European, its version was filtered through the aura of the Eastern Mediterranean. So it was in my eyes.
And as I watched it, with my gaze curious, the irregular and rather artless morphology, with the two different erkers, the protrusions, that is, with the protruding windows and the covered solid balconies, I began to soften against this old house. I was more moved by his present than by his past, which I guessed more than I knew. The house had life, in retreat, behind curtains and multi-leaf shutters. In a window, on Alkimachou, the three-leaf balcony door with the white wood was in the center of the balcony, with the Art Deco wave in the color of a interwar green, like the railings in the flower beds of Zappeion. Plants, old-fashioned, formed tufted ends. There was a prickly pear on the left edge.
On the facade of Pratinou Street, the seven pots on the balcony were like a ceramic garland, in front of the closed shutters, in six folds, painted in bright raf color, like turquoise with a little green. The need for a personal stamp on these windows was so strong that it led to an almost emotional gesture on the street. I was already seeing this building with different eyes.
And then I noticed his stylistic touches. The front door in Pratinou, in a complete art deco organization, with the forged iron in the green of the interwar period, was like a monochrome version of Montrian’s painting. And then I saw the curved balconies, of that ocean-going aesthetic, and I found it strange to see them in this otherwise humble building. The balconies with curved ends were placed in Alkimachou on a blind spot today. But one day, when the house was built, these balconies would have unlimited views of Ilissos, the Acropolis, the expanse of Athens. In the meantime, however, the adjacent plot was built, and the balconies were left without a role. I stood in front of this house again. I don’t know if it will ever be renovated. But he had already fulfilled his role only with his presence.
The Original Article