When the new trends take over

Sakellaridou and Papanikolaou were the first architects to dare take on the design of a commercial and business center (in the developing western part of the port of Thessaloniki). It was an assignment from the GEK construction company. The experience encouraged them and now they are ready for a similar project, also in Thessaloniki. They are to design half of a combined commercial-residential development on Monastiraki Street. The other half will be a straightforward basic construction. Would such an idea have taken off as little as five years ago? «No,» said Sakellaridou, recalling her own experience. «It seems that what is common practice abroad is gradually happening more often here. Is what we’re seeing the start of a trend? It may be, of course, with all the slow, maddening aspects that are typical of architectural reality in Greece. «The question is, will this trend take over? The turning point, when an existing trend changes into another, is usually complex. Many factors, sometimes parallel and opposing factors, come into play, and interact with it and change it.» In any case, she explained, «the recognition of the added value of design by a broader spectrum of clients and for a wider range of uses, ranging from expensive residences and designer hotels to office buildings and mixed-use complexes, is probably a matter of education and the refinement of the market, as emblematic buildings gain acceptance, people start discussing architecture, and society matures.»