2020 review highlights - timeline of photo shoots
The photo shoots of 2020 began with two projects by Spyros Tzinieris Architects in Sparti. ‘Vresthena extension’ is a residential project, an addition to an existing house in Vresthena village. ‘Threshing hut’ is another residential project, a renovation to an existing threshing hut in the outskirts of Sparti overlooking the majestic Taygetus Range and its conversion into a small holiday house. Tzinieris Architects was a new client that we hadn’t collaborated in the past and I was happy to visit and photograph the works of a young regional firm. ‘Threshing hut’ was a project that had already received a distinction from a national architecture competition, and ‘Vresthena extension’ was recently completed.
After Sparti, the next assignment was in the island of Mykonos. 'Chora Studios', two apartments renovated and converted to studios for holiday rentals, designed by Human Point / Loucas Fotopoulos and managed by Bianco Blu MGS.
The 3 photo shoots took place in February before the Covid pandemic hit Europe. During March and April a lockdown was ordered in Greece with limited traveling and most businesses figuring out how to function in this new condition. The month of May was the transition period gradually opening up again the economy.
The next 3 photo shoots came from Office 25 Architects, a firm I have collaborated in the past in various projects. The prolific firm has offices in Athens and Thessaloniki and projects around Greece and internationally, with head architects Thanasis Chrysomallis, Manolis Vourakis and Antonis Perpatidis. This time, we photographed three projects in Athens: ‘Accenture headquarters’ (interior design of the company’s offices), ‘Gastronomos kiosk’ (a retail pavilion within Sklavenitis Super Market at Avenue Mall), and ‘Koropi double residence’ (an urban double residence at Koropi suburb of Athens).
The same firm had also completed 4 multi-storey residential apartment buildings in Heraklion Crete. Outside the Venetian walls of the city, in the neighbourhood south of Nikos Kazantzakis Park, four apartment buildings were developed by Ktirio S.A. / Alexandros Kapetanakis and designed by Office 25 Architects, on Georgiadou Street, Papandreou Street, Karagianni Street and Erofilis Street. My thanks to fellow photographer Nikos Skartsilas for assisting with the drone coverage of these projects.
Returning back to base, a family project was being completed, the renovation of Selianitika Bay apartments and some days were spend photographing it for Airbnb and Booking.
In July a new collaboration with Attiko Metro began. The company manages the construction of the new underground metro stations and metro lines in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as numerous related public projects. The Line 3 extension of Athens Metro was near completion and three new metro stations were inaugurated: Agia Barbara, Korydallos and Nikaia. The assignment was to photograph these underground metro stations, as well as the regenerated plazas above ground. After the completion of the Athens Metro photo shoots, I traveled to Thessaloniki to also cover the latest progress of the construction of the metro lines there. Five stations at different stages of completion were visited and photographed. The Thessaloniki metro stations have an extra characteristic / difficulty due to the additional depth they need to be excavated, creating more underground levels to reach the loading platforms. Another unique project that is part of the Thessaloniki metro, is the ‘Pylaia Depot’, the terminal that will function as the operational centre once it’s open and also the station where the trains will park and get maintained. A 50.000 sq.m. plot housing two building complexes and the many functions required for operations and maintenance.
While in Thessaloniki, I also photographed another project by Office 25 Architects, the ‘MHTERA nursery'.
Returning back to Athens, the 3rd part of the Attiko Metro collaboration was to cover the construction progress at the remaining three stations of the Line 3 extension - Maniatika, Piraeus Harbor and Municipal Theatre. Attiko Metro also manages the Ksylapothiki Museum with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Piraeus. A renovated old lumber yard building converted to a museum for the archaeological findings from the excavations and a workshop for archaeologists to restore and preserve the findings. By this time, the three regenerated plazas of Agia Barbara, Korydallos and Nikaia were completed and opened to the public. I collaborated with drone operator Christos Kodellas to document these public spaces with aerial images.
The next assignment switched gears from construction sites to the architectural lighting design Danilof Light + Visual Perception Studio designed for The Orbit Urban Office Campus in Athens. This office building managed by Noval Property real estate developers was completed a few weeks before, and I spend two evenings photographing for Thanos Danilof the newly operational night lighting of the building.
Returning back to Patras, The Bold Type Hotel, renovation and interior design by EMPI & Associates Architects, was ready for a photo shoot. A few days were spend to cover the exterior and selected guest rooms. My thanks to collaborator Panos Bazos for assisting with the drone images.
The next two assignments came from Elastic Architects, another prolific architectural firm I have been collaborating the past three years. The office was preparing the design of two hotel renovations - Akti Hanikian in Agioi Theodoroi and Sea Satin in Sounio - and the brief asked for aerial and ground images of the two properties for location scouting, reference for the design phase, for the background of photorealistic renderings, and for additional usage by the project management teams of Hill International and promotional presentations by the owners.
The last photo shoot of the year was done for another project by Office 25 Architects in Athens. Apartment in Miaouni Street, a renovation and interior design in Voula suburb.
By November the country was again in lockdown, and while freelance professionals were not obliged to suspend their work, the overall situation nationwide became very difficult to logistically coordinate and scheduled assignments were put on hold.
As shown in previous years’ reviews, 2019, 2018, 2017, there are more aspects in my practice of architectural and fine art photography apart from photo shoots for assignments, as well as auxiliary services and functions such as publications, competitions, exhibitions, editorial, licensing, among others. I will present some of them in separate entries.
It’s a privilege to be able to continue this career combining architecture and photography, both as a means of self-expression and artistic creativity and in service of fellow architects and the profession at large.
This year had some serious misfortunes globally and personally but it hasn’t brought us to our knees. We are hanging in there and keep doing our best for the betterment of our lives and the people around us.
My gratitude goes out to all the people who make this vocation possible.