|The refugees of 1922 and their settlement in Athens. The actual condition of the refugees’ houses in Athens and their protection.|
|Eliza Papadopoulou, MSc structural engineer |
Georgios M. Sariyannis, professor, National Technical University of Athens
The refugees of 1922 settled all along Athens, almost everywhere, but mostly at west districts, like Kokkinia, Drapetsona, Koridallos. They also settled at Nea Philadelphia, Nea Ionia, Kaisariani, Vyronas, Ymittos and Kallithea (see map). Their settlement was basically organised and administered by two organisations and a Ministry (Ministry of Social Care).
The refugees’ houses were built between 1922 and 1940. There were also cases of self-housing, where the government gave sites to people and they built their houses with their own means. There were various types of buildings according to the period that they were built. There were houses made from wood, cob tiles, and others made from stone or brick walls. They consisted of one or two storeys, housing one, two or more families. Later houses were mixed structures, in three storeys, built from stone walls and horizontal elements of reinforced concrete, with multiple apartments.
Today, many of these buildings still exist, although since the 1960s many of them have been demolished and new multi-storey buildings have been built. There are neighbourhoods such as Kokkinia, Nea Philadelphia and others, where whole areas exist, almost intact or with easily reversible interventions. The main characteristic of these neighbourhoods is the existence of internal open areas, where social life takes place. Thus, it is essential to maintain these buildings and their surrounding areas, not only for historic and architectural purposes, but also in order to maintain a standard quality of life in the city, a more human environment rather than a modern hostile one. We should also protect them against the great pressure for building development and new buildings.
This article results from a study that was made for the Greek Ministry of Culture, with the support of the Laboratory of Urban Research, of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA).
|Areas in Athens and Piraeus where the refugees of 1922 settled.|
|A makeshift one-storey house in Kokkinia, preserved with touching diligence.|
|Refugees’ two-storey houses at Ymittos Square.|
|Two-storey stone house in Nea Philadelphia.|
|The multi-storey buildings in Kaisariani, mixed structures, with Modern Movement elements.|
|Two-storey houses in Kallithea, where one can see the arbitrary extensions of the rows and the covering of the empty spaces with arbitrary shacks.|