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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
White Chapel - Giannis Giannoutsos - Greece
  • White Chapel - Giannis Giannoutsos - Greece
White Chapel - Giannis Giannoutsos - Greece
Giannis Giannoutsos

Giannis Giannoutsos

Giannis Giannoutsos was born in Agrinio, Greece in 1986. He is an Architect (National Technical University of Athens 2005 - 2011) and a Visual Artist (Athens School of Fine Arts 2012 - 2015). In 2015, realizing the close relationship between Architecture and Visual Arts, he establishes his Architectural office and workshop in the center of Athens, a common space where young architects and artists collaborate on projects. In addition, the need to belong in a wider creative and scientific community is constantly expressed by the participation in national and international architectural and art exhibitions, among them the 8th Biennale of Young Greek Architects (2015), the International Conference on the constructed Environment in Venice (2011) and Lisbon (2014), the U.I.A. Exhibition of Contemporary Greek Architecture in Moscow (2016). He has been awarded many prizes in Greek and International Architectural Competitions. During the period 2014 - 2015, he worked at the School of Architecture NTUA as a scientific associate and teaching assistant in Architectural Design Studios. In 2016, he teaches Architectural composition at the department of Architecture at the University of Thessaly. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Athens School of Architecture, N.T.U.A. He lives and works in Athens as an Architect and a Visual artist.

Project Description

The program requires the design of a small church in the rural area of Stratos, in western Greece. The field of study includes the ruins of a 19th century country church called White Chapel whose traces are now barely visible.

The idea is to create a space of introspection, an enclosure, in the middle of an open field. The new building is placed parallel to the old one at a short distance, demarcating a loosley defined courtyard. The layout of the new church duplicates the area of the ruin and emulates its proportions and orientation. The character of the new church is monolithic, where an outer shell protects the inner core; the structure consists of two robust reclining walls and a light vaulted roof sustained in-between. The walls follow a mirrored Π-shape configuration, moulding the interior within their embrace. The roof is kept at a distance from the walls, allowing for two clerestory skylights to illuminate the interior along the perimeter. The only openings are a pair of vertical incisions, at the entrance and behind the sanctuary, highlighting the East-West axis. Selected areas of the walls recede into alcoves; the rest of the inner surface is engraved with religious iconography, without any color.

This is a research into how tradition may inform a new composition.
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