p.p1 primary concern of the architect. The room

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Aris Konstantinidis was born in Athens in 1913. He studied architecture in Germany at the Technische Hochschule in Munich from 1931 until 1936. He thus came in direct contact with the views of the modern movement. He returned to Greece in 1936, where he worked in the City of Athens (1938-1942) and after the war in the Ministry of Public Works. Inspired by his belief that architecture is a social function, he was appointed Head of the Labor Department of the Workers’ Organization (1955-1957) and head of a special adviser to the EOT (1958-1967 and 1975-1978). During these years he designs and oversees the construction of a series of social housing and hotels and is the first architect in Greece to introduce the concept of composition and construction into a large scale in public works.
Throughout his life, Konstantinidis attempted to create a “true architecture” based on the principles “taught” by it, but at the same time opposing every tendency of past and imitation of the old Greek forms. At the same time, he avoided the tendency of his era, which wanted many architects to copy modern European patterns that were built for the needs of other places. He used the Greek landscape as his main tool in the composition of his architectural works.
The basis of Konstantinidis’ philosophy is firmly connected with Greek nature and history. In every project, the construction has always (and not always obvious) a connection with the environment and the surrounding nature, whether expressed through the earth or through light, air or even the view.
Along with the aforementioned demand for contact with nature, Constantinidis’ houses are distinguished by the forms of Modern, but without following the stereotypes of the particular movement. The free plan view – although there are many examples – is not a primary concern of the architect. The room maintains its inner coherence and spatial “identity”, while it is often the material that communicates the different functions. We also note with great interest that the simple, rectangular shapes of its constructions, combined with the horizontal plates and the building materials it uses, easily refer to the relatively simple forms of the ancient Greek temples. 
The architecture of Aris Konstantinidis is proof of its great sensitivity to the area in which the works are constructed, since through them it tries to emphasize the interaction of nature and habitable environment. It emphasizes the integration of the entire architectural work into the natural environment, with fluid limits to the natural and the created. The concept of the extension of nature within the habitable environment results in residences in which the external space is part of the building itself. We observe that he forms interior and exterior spaces using similar or even identical architectural elements, such as rooms designated by walls or walls interrupted by openings. It is characteristic that in most of its constructions one observes that there is a transition from the closed to the open space, through a transitional shed or otherwise semi-enclosed area.
This internal and external treatment results in constructions characterized by simple forms, the rational layout of the plan from which the faces originate and rise as a natural continuum. It also focuses on the study and effective exploitation of the design of the climatic conditions of each site, the constructional excellence and the emergence of the special character and the unique physiognomy of each material used in the construction. Its purpose was to create an architectural language that takes its place on the great problems of its time about what the essence of “building” is, the essence of true architecture.

Categories: Architects


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