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The future of architecture of the period 1930-1970
Nikos Vatopoulos, journalist

In Athens, some noteworthy buildings, samples of the Athenian architecture of Modernism, of the period between 1930 and 1970, are still preserved. Most of them are buildings of multiple ownership (urban apartment buildings) and a few are houses or public buildings.

Therefore, Athens could, under certain conditions, be placed as an art deco Mediterranean capital. There should however, initially be an attempt to better understand the 1930’s and recognize the value of an entire epoch that modernized the Greek urban landscape with works by prominent architects. The buildings of the modern movement of the 30’s or the post-war buildings, private or public, of the succeeding manifestations of many different versions of Modernism are dealt with selectively and very often scornfully. Tens of them have been demolished and others have been degraded as a result of unfortunate renovations. The Greek State has, with a great effort, proclaimed a small number of interwar buildings as preservable but has been inefficient or unable to map the interwar and post-war modern architecture and to recommend possible solutions and actions. One ought to know however, what needs to be preserved, for what reason and what the benefits might be.

Therefore, a primary mapping would be a source of inspiration and proposals for the establishment of motives and interventions, which aim at the preservation and also at the viability of these buildings that should be integrated into the modern way of life, taking under consideration factors such as profit, reciprocity, rehabilitation or unearned increment.

nvatopoulos@kathimerini.gr

23/02/2007
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Athens. Megistis street
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Athens. Sina street