The Florizel Building
The project is done as a comment to the discourse of gentrification that became omnipotent in the field of urban studies. It represents a personal gentrification project performed in a single building in an unimportant area of the city of Volos, Greece. The project criticizes the direction that drives all areas that could be gentrified to an urban isolation. The contemporary city seems to be more and more fragmented and the discourse of gentrification helps this cluster-like structure of the city that will conclude to gated communities, ghettoes and commercial areas for selected parts of the population. The project refers to Florizel a hero of Robert Luis Stevenson that was entering the most strange places of the London "bas fonds" visiting the marginal in a "secure way", by being disguised to the norms of every field. This idiosyncratic disguise that form the rule of some older projects is also comparable to John Habraken urban works in Amsterdam or Aris Konstantinidis idea for an archeological museum in Athens hosted in transformed existing buildings. This proposed urban multi-store Florizel villa belongs in the series of "fake spaces" but it uses norms of the city in order to hide unpredictable functions. Two other examples of this series are the wooden timber house in Kalamaki, in Pelion (the Fake Timber house) and the water deposit house (Realfake House 2). This time the project concerns the intrusion of an ambitious luxury inhabitation that occupied the interior of a small house complex; it would be now transformed into a villa without any announcement of this transformation recorded on the building's elevation. The house complex is an obsolete polykatoikia (a typical multi store building in Greece) built in two distinguishable phases. The interior space is transformed into a unified residence while the exterior of the building is left untouched. The villa is separated in two levels that function separately; they are unified by an elevator that carries also a first double bed of the residence. The parking place is found into the ground level of the residence transforming the car to a sculpture visible from the swimming pool area and the kitchen.
Architect: Aristide Antonas
Collaborator: Katerina Koutsogianni