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02/17 ATHENS: FORMAL/SPONTANEOUS

House-Office of Ernst Ziller, Athens, 1863

 
In early 1863, Ernst Ziller argued in writing to Theophilus Hansen, citing considerations of health and economy, for the need to erect a two-storey building, on the ground floor of which the family of the watchman of the building site of the Academy of Athens would live, while he himself would be housed on the first floor, together with the site office. ‘In the event of your not writing to me, I shall take it as acceptance of my proposal’, he states, and adds some sketches. Already within the three weeks which elapsed before he received a reply, Ziller had gone ahead with putting his idea into practice, thus bringing off a fait accompli. The house-office, measuring 8x8m, with an external staircase and balcony, was constructed on the best site in Athens, simple but conspicuous, within three months, and remained there for the next 19 years. It was the first ‘eponymous’ unapproved building in Athenian history. A few decades later, Ziller would build his family home 250m away, at No. 6 Mavromichali St (then No. 4). 

For full text please see printed edition. 

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