Three main areas: a common reception area with a staircase, a 40 m2 studio on the first floor and a 20 m2 studio on the second are generated by the transformation of an old apartment in Pagrati. The architectural approach of AR03412 STUDIO combines the need for flexibility with the need for autonomy. 

In the oldest core of Athens, the renovation of an old apartment reflects the reboot of an aesthetic perception. The Box-in-a-Box project concerns the renovation of a small two-story apartment with a stunning view of the Acropolis hill and Lycabettus. In the densely populated area of the center of Athens where the use of space is precious, the renovation of an apartment is transformed into a creative proposal.

Two independent studios in one apartment. This approach reflects the modern need for flexibility and social connectivity, while at the same time maintaining the privacy and autonomy of each resident.

The new design was divided into three main areas: a common reception area with a staircase, a 40 sq m studio on the first floor, and a 20 sq m studio on the second. The large terraces and the view towards the Acropolis are the ideal companion to this central concept.

However, designing a small space in a way that combines privacy and comfort is a challenge. This proposal is a flexible solution that meets the needs of different types of residents. Each studio offers a personal, functional living space while the common area offers a social meeting point. The brilliant light of the Attic sky diffuses and floods the interiors giving the impression of larger spaces.

The main challenge, however, was not so much the spaciousness, but the achievement of distinct functions. This was achieved by designing a unique feature: an inner box that defines the private spaces.

In the first 40 sq m studio, the wooden box is included and becomes the axis around which the living experience revolves. It is the focal point of the space, an elegant deviant solution that creates a sense of privacy in an open and bright space. This box doesn’t just offer a place to sleep and store, but is a house within a house, a place of safety and personal exploration. Its integration into the main space through a sliding door creates a sense of flow and cohesion, while at the same time offering a separation between social and private life.

The lines are clean and modern, while the use of materials such as glass, wood, and metal details add an air of contemporary elegance. Natural light diffuses to the fullest, creating a space that radiates hospitality and warmth.

Renovating this apartment and dividing it into two independent studios faced multiple technical and architectural challenges. The effort concerned the rational use of the available space, the maximum use of natural lighting and the assurance of privacy. With each studio being a unique space, the final proposal proves that architecture can create spaces that reflect the needs of the times, while offering a living experience that is both pleasant and functional

Facts & Credits
Title Box in- box
Typology Architecture, Interior, Design
Pagkrati, Athens, Greece
Area 70 m2
Status Completed, 2023
Architecture AR03412 STUDIO, Eirini Kontopoulou
Photography Nikos Alexopoulos
Text by the author

Take a look at another project by AR03412 STUDIO, “K_AL Apartment”, here!