‘The new and old must coexist discreetly’

Architect Yiannis Kizis believes that a project needs to be loved by the public, so it can become a functional part of everyday life in the city. His knowledge of and love for his work allow him to take certain liberties when undertaking renovation projects. «The new and the old must coexist discreetly,» he says. «And love (in terms of love equaling knowledge) gives you the right to make ‘surgical interventions.’» The architect has already undertaken a plethora of projects all over the city, and one can only wonder how much more he could achieve in a more mature and tolerant society. In the case of the old stock exchange building on Pesmazoglou, the central hall, which displays all the grandeur of the 1880s architectural idiom, is reached through an interwar arcade that has been given back its art deco elements. «It is like an antechamber for the modern-day urbanite, who stands 125 meters away from the main building and therefore has to gradually penetrate the 19th century atmosphere to reach it.» The art deco arcade leads to a closed courtyard with a crystal parapet covering an exit that is younger in age. «I have kept this as part of the illustration of the building’s successive historical phases,» says Kizis.