The architects: Work hard and succeed

A few weeks ago, Yiannis Papadopoulos and Georgia Daskalaki, who were both born in 1978, were two among thousands of young architects getting started in their competitive field. They were spending their time working for other architects in Athens and doing their own survey work. Then a project they worked on together won third prize in a major GEK competition for a housing complex in Metaxougeio. The plans will be built. For 27-year-old architects, it’s a dream come true. «We didn’t take part without ambitions,» says Yiannis. «We are young and don’t have the experience of other colleagues, but we certainly worked hard on the study with some aims in mind.» Adds Georgia, «It’s important to have competitions, because it is the only institution that gives young architects a chance.» Innovative Many people identify with young architects whose innovative studies are often frowned on by big competitions. Yiannis and Georgia see the issue as being more complex. «The search for the new has to go beyond appearances. What is important is to give answers in each case to the basic needs related to space and human habitation,» they said. After studying at the National Technical University, young architects will either send out CVs to architects’ businesses or start up their own. At best they have to make do on a basic salary (of around 1,000 euros a month), and they usually have no social insurance. Isn’t it thankless putting your time and ideas into a study that someone else will sign? «In general, the offices appreciate good work,» the architects say.