V. Melas Mansion
Today the Cultural and Administrative Centre of the National Bank of Greece

City Hall (Kotzia) Square, Aiolou-Sofokleous-Streit, Athens 1884-87 and 1976-88

Ernst Ziller (1837-1923)
Architects of the stylistic restoration and conversion of the building (1976-88):
Dionysis Vlachopoulos
Grigoris Tsiveriotis

Consulting Architects:
Yannis Liapis
John Travlos

The eclecticist mansion of Vassilios Melas, the largest Athenian residence of its time, is one of the most significant works in the architectural heritage left by Ernst Ziller. The building’s owner, V. G. Melas called it the "Great House" and bequeathed its revenues to fund the Melas Bequests Committee that built schools all over Greece.
The building operated as the Athenian Club up to the end of the 19th century when it was destroyed by fire. After it was repaired, it was home for 72 years to the Hellenic Post Office (1900-72). Today the Melas Mansion has been leased for 50 years by the National Bank.
The architects of the National Bank’s Technical Service, Dionysis Vlachopoulos and Grigoris Tsiveriotis, besides converting the building into the Bank’s cultural and administrative centre, also conducted its stylistic restoration, as various interventions from the past had altered its initial form.
The magnificent façade has a symmetrical three-part layout with two small projecting towers at the corners. In terms of height, it is divided into base, trunk and crown. The base includes the ground floor which has openings and an entranceway flanked by columns. The trunk, which is separated from the base by the imaginary horizontal line of the balconies on the first floor openings, occupies the first two floors. The crown was initially defined by the cornice and parapets, and the corner towers rose one floor higher. Later a third floor was added between the towers.
The interior is dominated by the main hall that was initially an inner courtyard. The area is covered by a glass roof and has an Ionic colonnade on the ground floor and a Corinthian one on the upper floor.