Architect Kostas Chatzigiannis designed Hellas House.
Hellas is the name Greeks use for their homeland—officially the Hellenic Republic—and the job of transforming a 1930’s brick-and-wood villa into a center for the nation’s culture fell to one of their own: expatriate architect Kostas Chatzigiannis, who has lived in Shanghai since 2007. He was to follow a brief that demanded the 5,380-square-foot Hellas House “scream Greek” without tipping into kitsch. “There is a stereotypical ‘Grecian’ style for this kind of project,” he continues, “one that can’t seem to escape the blue-and-white thing or laurel-wreath crowns or chitons. It can go over the top very easily.” To evoke ancient Greece, Chatzigiannis drew on materials and color palettes commonly used in antiquity: marble, bronze, and wood; black, white, and gold. For floors, walls, and columns, large slabs of raw marble from the Aegean islands of Naxos and Thassos were shipped to the southern port city of Xiamen where they were cut and polished before being hauled to Shanghai—with more than one piece breaking en route or, worse, during installation. Alongside the reproduction furniture, statues, and ceramics, Hellas House also showcases contemporary Greek art, such as paintings by the 84-year-old Athenian artist Alekos Fassianos, pulled from Kontomichalos’s private collection to hang in the lounge and offices. (Hall, 2019)
Throughout his design, lines are used dynamically and brilliantly softened by colour and furnishings.
Daniel Hopwood‘s design on a beautiful townhouse.
Daniel Hopwood suggested painting the kitchen dark blue. Riddhi and Mick thought it was a mad idea, as they thought what was a small, poorly lit area needed to be light, not dark. Daniel shot through that theory with his “embrace the natural ambience of the space” ethic. They went with it and, of course, he was right – the midnight blue, coupled with dark bespoke walnut storage and a beautiful-patterned tiled floor makes the space inviting and atmospheric. In the living-dining room the show-stopping feature is a floor-to-ceiling mural from Tres Tintas, which Riddhi and Mick bought before hiring Daniel. It arrived as five huge panels, which they kept rolled up under the bed with their fingers crossed it wouldn’t be too bold. Quite the opposite. Using the mural as his primary reference, along with a few items from the couple’s previous home – the blue velvet sofa and a pair of Marco Zanuso Senior chairs – Daniel got to work and designed the room around it. The staircase spans four floors and one entire wall, from the bottom to the top of the house, is clad in mirrored tiles for a striking effect. (Parker, 2019)
The design brief for this townhouse was to turn a plain, white box into a liveable space that was ‘fun, practical and felt like home.’ This has been achieved with colour and pattern, blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body, this colour features in all the rooms whilst adding depth and character.
(Hall, 2019) Hellas House https://www.interiordesign.net/projects/16828-hellas-house-by-kca-kostas-chatzigiannis-architecture-brings-greece-to-shanghai/ (accessed 30.9.19)
(Parker, 2019) Townhouse https://www.livingetc.com/spaces/interior-design-ideas-219423 (accessed 30.9.19)
Fig.2 Marble-floored entrance hall https://www.interiordesign.net/projects/16828-hellas-house-by-kca-kostas-chatzigiannis-architecture-brings-greece-to-shanghai/
Fig.3 Custom velvet-upholstered seating https://www.interiordesign.net/projects/16828-hellas-house-by-kca-kostas-chatzigiannis-architecture-brings-greece-to-shanghai/
Fig.5 The midnight blue, coupled with dark bespoke walnut storage and a beautiful-patterned tiled floor https://www.livingetc.com/spaces/interior-design-ideas-219423
Fig.6 The foor-to-ceiling mural from Tres Tintas https://www.livingetc.com/spaces/interior-design-ideas-219423
Fig.7 Marco Zanuso Senior chairs https://www.livingetc.com/spaces/interior-design-ideas-219423
Fig.8 The staircase https://www.livingetc.com/spaces/interior-design-ideas-219423