campana brothers: new hotel athens

29 Aug

All images © designboom

Located 200 meters from syntagma (constitution) square, the most central part of athens, greece, the ‘new hotel athens’ has recently
opened its doors. dakis joannou, owner of yes! hotels, has chosen the brazilian design-duo campana brothers (humberto and fernando campana)
to reinterpret the former olympic palace hotel that was originally built in 1958 by architect iasonas rizos.
the design process took the form of a workshop together with design and architecture students from university of thessaly.

using unexpected combinations of found objects, materials and fabric off-cuts, the campana brothers created a vocabulary of design,
giving poetry to everyday objects. with this renovation project, the brothers joined together the charm of ancient athens with modern
amenities, keeping some of the original features of the building and recycling furniture pieces of the former hotel, while adding their
handmade chairs and lamps — a blend of art, sculpture and design.
there are three different room types that reflect the athenian culture. the ‘karagiozis’ room (turkish meaning ‘dark eye’) is decorated
with figures of the ‘karagoiozis’ – a traditional shadow puppet of greek folklore theatre. the second room type embraces the ‘evil eye’,
a superstitious bead that guards against bad omens, and the third displays historic post cards giving visitors insight into old athens.
the workshop group created furniture, producing samples and prototypes whilst exploring methods and techniques associated
with the campanas style: reusing and reinterpreting local material and culture. the favela wall incorporates memories and recollections
of the former hotel – parts of doors and furniture pieces decorate the walls of the reception area.

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