New ideas help turn old Athens loft into animation studio


In the heart of Athens, around the corner from town hall at Plateia Theatrou, architect Polyanna Paraskeva inserted some new ideas into an old neighborhood.

She turned a disused industrial storage area, in a district more than 2000 years old, into an animation studio able to accommodate the latest demanding computer equipment. A place where animation is created and taught while also including residential quarters. A key aim was to keep the character of the building's history, by using plain and industrial materials consisting of wood and metal, according to ktirio.gr.

With expertise in developing creative areas for children, Paraskeva made the space flexible and adaptive.

A five meter moveable panel allows natural light to enter the room and also acts as a partition in the main room stretching some 200 square meters, allowing for the space to be used for different purposes.

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The building is located in a part of Athens that has had many ups and downs. According to some experts, the curve is pointing upwards right now.

(photos from ktirio.gr)

In October, the Athens council launched a subsidy program for new tenants in the area in a bid to turn around the rundown districts, located between Omonia square and the touristy Monastiraki neighborhood.

Previously one of the trendiest spots in town, Plateia Theatrou, which means Theater Square in Greek, took a sharp turn downwards about ten years ago. Bars and restaurants in the area started shutting down one after the other, due to the ghetto-like conditions that were scaring off patrons. But that bad run appears to be over, thanks to a tourism boom that is boosting investment activity in just about all parts of central Athens.

Any improvements to inner city neighborhoods are being closely watched by investors who have been snapping up downtown properties where demand is high for short term rentals on platforms such as Airbnb. In 2018, Greece's real estate market saw a turnaround from a low point where prices dropped more than 40 percent during the country's economic crisis, rising for the first time in ten years.

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