Exarchia Theatre

69 Themistokleous, Athens, 1987-89

Constantinos Decavallas (1925- )

This little theatre with 131 seats is an imaginative renovation of a heritage neoclassical building, but also a contribution to upgrading the historic quarter of Exarchia. A work by skilled architect and professor Constantinos Decavallas, it harmonises architecture and theatre with unusual understanding, inspiration and economy of resources. Assisting in this was the fact that it was designed for the architect’s daughter, Anita Decavalla, an actor with her own company.
The neoclassical building was a two-storey house with an inset, more recent tile-roofed addition that became the owner’s home. In the conversion, the neoclassical form of the façade was retained, but with a revitalised colour concept, while on the interior, radical changes were required in order to create the theatre and its ancillary areas. The architect found an imaginative solution to the functional need for an acoustic false ceiling. Its form and colours give the impression of an awning, which brings to mind the rudimentary theatrical venues throughout history that were covered by a light structure or an awning (Commedia dell’Arte, street theatre).