Passer Domesticus is a tiny historical building in Thessaloniki, originally a tradesman’s fabrics shop and then a fishing accessories store, until its conversion by 157+173 designers to a compact living space for short term living and more unique experiences like private dinners, small live performances etc.
Studio Name: 157+173 designers ( 157-173designers.eu )
Design Team : Babis Papanikolaou & Christina Tsirangelou- >( until 2020 )
Typology: Interior design & building Restoration
Location: Papadopoulou 3, 546 24, Thessaloniki, Greece
Usage: short term living and private experiences
Size: 45m2 ( aprox. 16m2 per level / 3 levels )
Client: 157+173 designers ( own project )
Construction: 157+173 designers
Date: 2017 September
Photo: Kostas Pappas, 157+173 designers
It is the first ( and only ) space of its kind in the city, which allows people to experience living in a shop, with glass-front windows, and experience living onto a street level, like the old type of habitation in Greece, which now only remains on small villages. Passer Domesticus is named after the common sparrow bird, ( passer domesticus in Latin) , which is a regular “traveler” in the cities, as a word game between Passer / someone who passes by, and Domesticus as the domestic traveller. It is located in a preserved neighbourhood , containing only buildings of the same typology, most of which still remain small commercial shops.
The majority of those buildings, dated around the 1920, where occupied by immigrant tradesmen, who came with their families different parts of Europe and resulted opening their own local business, converting the area into a market neighbourhood. The typology of the buildings is similar, as two storey small buildings, ( ground floor and first floor ) and also a basement, all levels connected with an internal steep staircase. Their facades are inspired by Neobyzantine buildings, with small windows with decorative external columns. All buildings are glued to each other, with the famous commercial market of the “Bezesten”, the Ottoman fabrics and gold market build in the15th century, stand alone in the center of the small neighbourhood. Passer Domesticus is a place to host all romantic urban travellers, and make them experience a different way of living into the urban nest. \Design Language \Space Description Passer Domesticus is a two storey building, yet from the inside, it is a four level space, including basement, ground floor, a new built mezzanine hammock level and a first floor level, while ending on a flat roof. The space is designed to be playful, offering new spacial experiences. The ground floor works as the main salon for resting, sitting on the sofa or eating on the table, also containing a small kitchenette. All furniture are designed to fit in all “dead spaces” in order to gain the maximum free space, with all the amenities needed for its usage.
They are made out ob birch plywood, and raw mdf, while also metalic frames are uded to create wireframe furniture, such as the kitchen. At the same time, “posh” materials like marbles, leather and glossy details were used to emphasise their details of the structures and give them a more unique prestige. Parts of the old original faded texturing on the walls is intentionally left uncovered, as a reminder of its past, which eventually becomes part of the style of the space, while all electrical and hydraulic networks are also left uncovered, to add to the space character. All lights in the space are specially designed from our studio 157+173 designers, or are part of its lights collection, and are part of the whole design language. The mezzanine, is a specially built hammock, build with a white strong fisherman’s net tight on a metallic frame, inspired from the building’s previous use as a fish accessories store. It offers the space a comfortable area of resting, while becoming an architectural element on its own, which adds more texturing and style to the space, allowing the space to have an extra wireframe level, without losing its impressive double height. In the bedroom area, the old wooden floor is retained and refurbished, painted glossy white, while a plywood volume becomes the bed.
The space is equipped with anAn open closet designed over the staircase in order to gain more space, with an old wooden ladder -found on site- used as a barrier and hanger at the same time. The metallic window roll tops are varnished and intentionally left rusty, to add to the style of the space and its calm atmosphere. At the basement, where the bathroom is located, has an old Monumental feeling, with a red brick level hosting the shower and the wc, and the sink located into a Cycladitic style arch void, while the atmosphere is completed with the use of raw cement texturing on the floor and the cement staircase. Natural light comes in from the cour-anglaise, creating a private garden of plants and stones in the lighted area.