The Great Greek Kiosk

The name is related to “peripteros”, the name given to Greek or Roman temples which are surrounded by a portico with columns. These tiny commercial units have an institutional status in Greece: they serve an important socio-political role through the regulated way in which kiosk licences are awarded to applicants by prefectures, and they do much to define the spatial and civil character of urban areas.

Almost all periptero have the same statutory floor-plan of 1.3 x 1.5 meters.

Whilst the floor-plan is regulated, it is the space directly below the canvas roof, surrounding the central structure, which makes the periptero such an anarchic piece of vernacular architecture.

The roof, and its awning, whilst ostensibly providing shelter from rain and sun, defines a border between the outside (public space) and the inside (semi-private space). This boundary is often further defined by freezer cabinets aligned along the invisible border. Upright fridges where chilled drinks are stored on a self-service basis also function as perimeter walls.

Periptero represent more than mere simplicity. They sit in an exciting grey zone between two contrasting poles: on the one hand they are municipal, normed and pre-fabricated; on the other they are personal, improvised and extendable. It is their personal nature combined with their visibility that makes them architecturally unique. Whilst interior spaces are often manipulated by their users (think of the mascots stuck to office computer screens) there is little scope for structural intervention, and any which do take place are largely invisible and rarely the result of an autonomous decision. Periptero however are wildly autonomous, and their entire architectural form is a deeply personal reflection of the daily demands, both practical and economic, faced by their owners.

by Ian Warner  ∕  30 May 2009

Athens Syntagma Kiosk C 1958 Athens Syntagma kiosk - 1958

KASSANDRAS' periptero

Produced at KASSANDRAS during the UMPRUM workshop, this skeletal version of a Greek periptero uses a customized steel connector designed by Diplomates Studio.

A versatile centerpiece providing shelter and hosting the bar or a dj booth, the structure of the periptero will ultimately expand and serve both as an anchor and a matrix for the rehabilitation of the entire building. 

Diplomates Kassanras Periptero

It spent 2 months in our gallery space, and was used for various purposes, most notably as the dj booth for Panorilla II. In the end of the summer, we took it where it should be : on the rooftop.

Rooftop Perip 5
Rooftop Perip 4

Material : Wood, Metal, Neons, Leds 
Size : 2.20m x 2.60m x 3.50m

Team : Matthieu Prat, Pierre Blanc, Theofilos Lazarou, Zafiris Kontogeorgis / and his team.

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