The Athenian apartment building (Polykatoikia) / ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTRE

The Athenian apartment building (Polykatoikia)

"Re-think Athens: Urban challenges 2014-15"

Re-think Athens: Urban challenges 2014-15

27 January 2015
Main Stage
Α discussion about the Athenian apartment buildings and their impact on the urban landscape and the city’s social geography.
Free admission
Watch the conversation on video (scroll down the page).
The video is available in Greek and English.
Watch all the conversations on the MEDIA and OCC LIVE tabs.

In every city, there are one or more types of residential building which dominate the local housing scene and which are an integral part of its built history: small, identical detached, semi-detached or terraced houses in the planned suburban extensions in Western and Northern Europe and North America; large multi-storey, middle-class complexes in the cities of the Far East and South America; rough structures knocked together in the shanty towns that have sprouted up unplanned around the gigantic cities of Sub-Saharan Africa, India and Latin America.

In Athens, the apartment building built on land given to the developer in exchange for a flat (or flats) in the finished structure (the "antiparochi" system) has undoubtedly dominated the housing market for decades. It evolved rapidly following the institution of a favorable tax and legal regime which made of “antiparochi” the unique mode of production for apartmwent buildings; while there were only a thousand or so multi-storey apartment buildings in Athens in 1950, there were 35 times that number in 1980.

The discussion will focus on the processes which shaped the post-war reconstruction of Athens and the impact the hegemony of the apartment block has had on Athenian society and the urban landscape. It will also examine the extent to which the singularities of Athens’ built environment—the absence of a clear morphological articulation; the mixing of private and public uses at the level of the city block—are a consequence of the "antiparochi" model, as well as the impact this mode of urban development has had on the city’s social geography.


Panos Dragonas: Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Department of Architecture, University of Patras (Greece)
Thomas Maloutas: Professor of Social Geography, Department of Geography, Harokopio University (Greece)
Ioanna Theocharopoulou: Assistant Professor of Interior Design, Parsons The New School for Design, New York (USA)
Richard Woditsch: Professor of Theory of Architecture and Design, Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences, Nürnberg (Germany)

Nicholas Souliotis: Sociologist, Researcher at the National Centre for Social Research, Athens (Greece)

Panos Dragonas and Thomas Maloutas

read more

Entrance to all the events in the “Talks and Thoughts” Cycle is free and on a first come, first served basis.
The distribution of entrance tickets begins one (1) hour before each event.
Simultaneous translation is provided in the case of speakers using a language other than Greek.

The "Talks & Thoughts" events are also live streamed on
The videos are also available after the end of the shows.

sponsoring / partnerships

Supported by

Hospitality sponsor

Medical cover


9 Dec 2014

19:00 Main Stage
Free admission


Cinematic Athens "Re-think Athens: Urban challenges 2014-15"

17 Feb 2015

19:00 Main Stage
Free admission


Solidarity and the city "Re-think Athens: Urban challenges 2014-15"