Molonglo Zacharitsa Live Work Athens Apartment Photo Lorenzo Zandri Yellowtrace 01

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A stroll around Athens reveals crumbling façades, decaying foyers and buildings neglected or abandoned over the years. Whether you find this charming, or not so much, I guarantee you didn’t see what Molonglo did—an opportunity.

Enter Zacharista, one in a series of apartments designed in Athens by the Greek-Australian development company. Small and flexible, the home-work-shop hybrid, housed within a typical post-war polykatoikia, was developed in collaboration with London-based architecture practice Royffe Flynn. Rather than a complete redo, the partners worked with the idiosyncrasies of the space in a project whose success lies in its subtleties.

With a deft touch, this sensitive refurbishment takes notes from the city itself, intertwining the new with old in a space suspended between past and present. Building on the interior’s existing bones, familiar textures, tones and shapes are repackaged into a contemporary and very liveable little package. It feels like luxurious austerity, a hard tightrope to balance.

 

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Split over three levels connected by a spiral staircase, the 86-square metre space offers a lot for its tight footprint with a mezzanine bedroom and balcony, flexible ground floor with a kitchen and live-work space, subterranean bathroom—including a generous bath—and a shared courtyard.

In the living area, original elements like the steel spiral staircase, marble window sills and terrazzo floors are interwoven with fresh terrazzo flooring, a reclaimed marble workbench in the kitchen, muted brickwork and textured concrete cast on-site.

In the bathroom, a new concrete bath sits on precisely jumbled marble tiles and slabs. Furnished with a mix of found European mid-century furniture, objects and artworks sourced or made locally and plants chosen by Kopria plant shop, the apartment feels effortlessly authentic.

 

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The facade, with its large powder-coated steel windows and a simple strip of green marble on one side, hints at what’s inside. Looking out to the tree-lined slopes of Koukaki, nicknamed ‘Little Paris’, the walkable neighbourhood is just a short walk to the scenic trails of Filopappou Hill with panoramic views of the city.

Zacharista is one of eight apartments by Molonglo across two Athens neighbourhoods. Described by Molonglo as an “an act of reverse ruination,” new life is breathed into these modern ruins through investment and repair—with deliberate restraint. Molonglo elaborates: “This approach privileges character over embellishment [and] timelessness over trends.” Couldn’t have put it better myself.

 

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| The article Celebration of Subtleties: Zacharitsa Live-Work Apartment in Athens by Molonglo & Royffe Flynn. appeared first on Yellowtrace. |

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