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 architects
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 owners 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 dellArte, street theatre).