Rooftop with the view of the Acropolis
By Stavros Papayiannis
Uncompromising, with a strong personality and a unique ability to combine the classic with the contemporary, Athens is not a temptation you can get over simply by succumbing to its charm
As long as it takes to drink a Greek coffee

Uncompromising, with a strong personality and a unique ability to combine the classic with the contemporary, Athens is not a temptation you can get over simply by succumbing to its charm. Athens imprints itself forever on every brain cell. Its eternal motion carries you away into every overt or hidden corner and infuses and empowers you with boldness, bravery and imagination.

Its unusual personality and the familiarity the city exudes make up a dynamic and special character that is embodied in AthensWas, the new hotel bearing our signature. At the beginning of the most famous pedestrian street of Athens, Dionysiou Aeropagitou St, where today meets with yesterday, AthensWas narrates the history of the city through its design.

Faithful to the principles of classic modernism, with its refreshingly simple lines, clean-cut shapes, natural materials and warm colours all contributing to the sense of relaxation and balance, AthensWas motivates me to peel back every layer of this marvellous city and get to know what really makes it tick. Whenever I am there, no matter what direction I pick, famous, as well as less well-known, Athenian treasure trails unfold before me.

Athens Was

Athens invites me to lose myself in the Acropolis Museum, one of the best archaeological museums in the world, to admire again the Odeon of Herodes Atticus which has given me a multitude of unique moments under the summer sky of Attica, to climb up to the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis and see the majesty of the past once more. The city invigorates me with a short pause under the trees, on the benches outside the temple of St Demetrius Loumbardiaris. I walk down to Theseion where the young of the city enjoy their coffee in the sun with a view of Areios Pagos and the Ancient Agora.

Athens imprints itself forever on every brain cell

Sometimes, after it has artfully seduced me with scents and images, it leads me to Anafiotika and in my mind I am transported back to an Athens always ready to embrace change, transforming the wishes and desires of its inhabitants into living history.

It shows me its love of modernity in the New Museum of Modern Art, which opened recently and is housed in one of the most historic buildings of the city. It offers me cool moments of fresh air under the dense shade of the trees in the National Garden. This is where the Athenians of old used to enjoy their customary evening walk. It carries me to the squares and pedestrian streets of the centre which, after a short rest from the hustle of daily commerce, welcome Athenians and their friends for a drink in the evening – Karitsi square – Monastiraki – Agia Irini square.

What is certain is that Athens enchants me every day as it unfurls its colours and patterns. Its incessant modern beat makes for an intriguing contrast with buildings that have stood still in the same spot for centuries. And this is what makes it exciting, revolutionary and never-ending!  For me, Athens is a unique coexistence of the classic and contemporary element which no designer could ever hope to achieve with quite such finesse.

Stavros Papayiannis
Stavros Papayiannis
Creative Director and co-founder of Stage Design Office

Stage Design Office was founded in 1997 by Stavros Papayiannis and Giorgos Kyriazis as a continuation of the design office DeArte (Stavros and Panayiotis Papayiannis).
Stage Design Office is involved in all the branches of design, architecture, interior design, graphic design, fashion, public installations, exhibitions, art and photography.
It consists of architects, interior designers, graphic designers and industrial designers, as well as many external partners, engineers, mechanical engineers, photographers and artists.
It offers a broad range of design work tackling museums, office buildings, hotels, dining areas, shops, residences, art galleries, publishing, corporate identities and packaging.

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