The brief was unusual and challenging – adding two floors to an existing single-storey house, one floor above it and one floor below. The upper floor addition was made possible through a large-span prestressed concrete slab, thus avoiding columns piercing the ground floor. The addition of the basement necessitated the painstaking insertion of columns, one at a time, so as not to “unbalance” the existing building.

Set in a privileged part of Athens, close to the Acropolis and to Philopappos hill and with views of the Saronic gulf as well, the completed three-storey house became the home of film director Michael Cacoyannis. It also housed his film archives. The design of all three levels incorporated the display of countless pictures, mementos, awards and maquettes evocative of a long and illustrious career.

The house remained simple in the treatment of its street façade and unostentatious in its internal decoration. Its most characteristic elements are the large, extending almost the full length of the façade, picture window of the living room, the main bathroom projecting over the garden, the black and white “chessboard” marble floors and the semi-circular staircase with art-deco iron railings. The limited but sheltered back garden is centered on a relatively small swimming pool.

Project completed 1983
Design team
Architects Sgoutas Architects
Structural Engineers A.Sivris
MEP Consultants Tekem Ltd.