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4. Architectural Work 4.3 Villa KapantziDesigns | Photos | Publications | Memorandum

4.3 Villa Kapantzi
Villa Kapanzi was built in 1897 by Ahmet Kapantzi. During the Balkan war (1912-1914) it has been used as a residence by Prince Nikolaos of Greece and later by Venizelos, Daglis and Countouriotis. The building was not used for many years. Later it was restored and reused as a gallery by its owner, the National Bank of Greece. The structural system of the building consists of iron beams. Its architectural design appliess classical principles of composition but also deviates from them. Although symmetry is present in general and in every detail, the whole organization lacks symmetry, while an effort has been made to change the image of a four-floor tower into a two-floor one. On the other hand, a rationalistic trend makes clear the existence of the module used, i.e by using the colour distinctions or by underlying the vaulted structures of the opening facades. Villa Kapanzi seems to be a typical example of Eclecticism in Greece trying to achieve an architectural expression of a structural system with wide-open possibilities. It also juxtaposes formality.
The objectives of the restoration project, undertaken by Professor G.P.Lavas, for the re-use of Villa Kapanzi as gallery for the National Bank of Greece involved : a. the functional re-arrangement of the building, b. the conservation and preservation of its architectural identity, c. the reduction of the interventions. The architectural interventions were restricted to the absolutely necessary interior arrangements for the modern use of the gallery. The rationale of the restoration study and the building transformation involved the following:
  • Sufficiently securing the bearing capacity of the building, with respect to the principles of its authentic exterior and interior form.
  • Completion of all the architectural elements which contribute to the building acquiring its initial personality and morphological identity.
  • Interior rearrangements interventions on a small scale which respond to the functional needs of the new use.
  • Full modernization of the electromechanical installations and equipment.
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