TYPE: suburban

LOCATION: 7, Heimaras St., Maroussi business district, Attica

PROJECT: change of use of factory building into offices for cosmetics company

DATE: feb 2011 -

A factory building for the production of cosmetics, with a surface area of 2000 square meters is refurbished to accommodate the administrative offices for the cosmetics company. The old building, one of unique architectural quality, is preserved, stripped down of all previous patchwork interventions, in order to reveal its original spatial logic and material clarity in the articulation of space.

The existing building’s floor plan is very deep, 43m x 43m on a 7m+2m square grid. The skylights of the original design plans have never been constructed and, as a result, natural lighting conditions are very poor in the heart of the building. Since neither natural lighting nor ventilation conditions suffice for office use according to the new brief, a radical solution is been proposed: Following the logic of the existing 7x7 grid, two 49 sqm-open-air courtyards are created and landscaped in the inner part of the plan, bringing natural light and fresh air into the heart of the building. The courtyards considerably improve all environmental aspects of the building, as well as way-finding and navigation within its large, uniform floorplan.

Interior partitions and furniture play a secondary part, touching lightly and discretely onto the existing shell. The separation between open plan spaces and enclosed private or shared offices is realised with glass partitions, so as to preserve the perception of large scale and total spatial unity.

The memory of the previous use of the building as a factory is the key to the creation of the office’s corporate identity, through its architectural and graphical expression. Conceptually, it is this memory, of the making of the cosmetic products, which connects the actual field of work in the administrative offices of the present to the actual cosmetic products. Apart from the preservation of the pre-existing building shell, the corporate identity is been enhanced through
- the use of old wall-size artistic photographs of the factory’s personnel at work,
- the display of old industrial machinery for the production and packaging of cosmetic products
- the construction of installations, acting as partition walls, made of double-layered transparent surfaces within which cosmetic products are stacked as building units ­­

Maria Doxa & Marina Stassinopoulos