Irene Papas’s vision of home for applied performance arts

On the initiative of Irene Papas, the old Sanitas factory at 52 Pireos Street (at the Kifissos interchange) is being refurbished and redesigned by Manos Perrakos to house the Center for Applied Performance Arts, otherwise known as the Athens School. Papas’s dream is for the school to develop into a model drama school with specialized studies on art in the theater, as well as staging performances and other cultural events. The factory comprises a number of stone buildings surrounded by a tree-planted space, covering 1,620 square meters. There are three functional units linked by multiple-use areas, including two rooms for teaching, a dance hall, cinema screening room, set design and construction workshops and exhibition areas. The first unit is dominated by the main stage, a covered 500-seat amphitheater, which is already complete, while the second unit will have an experimental 120-seat theater. Progress on the building depends on funding (so far contributions have come from the Ministry for the Environment, Planning and Public Works and from Papas herself). Recently there have been problems and little progress has been made.