CULTURE

Unraveling Athenian architecture and its interesting but less noticed aspects

The architecture in Athens is not beautiful in the traditional sense, but when viewed in the context of history and changing stylistic influences it makes up an interesting ensemble. Sometimes, taking a closer look at the buildings around us can help unravel distinctive but previously unnoticed aspects of the city. This is what «Ten Days of Architecture,» a project organized by the Hellenic Institute of Architecture in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, encourages Athenians to do. The multifold project which began last Friday and will run through Sunday, December 8, is aimed at bringing people in closer touch with their urban environment. The organizers have picked out 30 buildings in the center of Athens (banners on the front of each building are used as indications) and have compiled a brief history of each; five of these buildings will be open to the public throughout the course of the project. Public tours in these five buildings have also been established. The 30 selections cover the period from the 1930s to the present and include buildings such as the Spiteris home in Kypseli, designed by Aristomenis Provelengios in the mid-1950s, the home of architect Kleon Krantonellis in Plaka, designed in the early 1960s, the Athens Music Conservatory on Rizari street by Ioannis Despotopoyulos in the late 1960s, and the Fasianos Museum, designed by Kyriakos Krokos in the mid-1990s. The project also includes exhibitions on architecture. The Alpha Bank building on Stadiou Street, the new wing of the National Bank of Greece at the corner of Aiolou and Sofocleous streets and the Center of Fine Arts on Harilaou Trikoupi are some of the buildings that will host the exhibitions. For more information on hours and location, contact the Hellenic Institute of Architecture (210.725.9410) or visit either www.heliarch.gr or www.cultureguide.gr.