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Article last edited by exporabilia on
May 13th, 2020

Takis Zenetos Change this

Takis Zenetos

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Takis Zenetos was born in Athens in 1926. He Studied architecture at the National (Metsovian) Technical University, and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris under Otello Zavaroni. There, he was exposed to the theory and principles of Modernism that defined his future work.

Coming back to Athens in 1955, Zenetos opened an architectural practice in Athens in collaboration with fellow Modernist Margaritis Apostolidis. In the following decade, they designed a series of seminal industrial spaces and private residences : among these were the impressive FIX Brewery, the APCO factory, and several private holiday villas in the Athenian Riviera, noted for their futuristic design and layout.

Zenetos' vision was influenced by his Modernist roots, as well as his belief in the transformative power of high technology. His vision for the future was a world governed by science, and he was concerned with the design of adaptable buildings that would utilise this constant technological evolution. In his 1962 study called 'Electronic Urbanism', Zenetos imagined cities evolving around frameworks of massive, flexible cables. These webs would solve the problem of urban regeneration once and for all, allowing the constituent components of cities such as buildings, services, or amenities to attach and detach, becoming replaceable parts of a whole that can easily change with the flow of evolving technology. At the same time, the natural environment would remain at ground level, unaffected. He imagined the new communication protocols of this futuristic world : his ideas describe, in principle, what we know today as email, video calling and cloud sharing, and his faith in the catalytic influence these would have in our daily lives was well ahead of its time. Like a true Modernist, he also designed furniture that would enabled humans to further interact with his architectural vision : 'Posture Chair 2000' is in principle a multimedia lounge chair, and a machine for commanding the home of the future and connecting with the outside world. The chair won a honourable mention in the Interdesign 2000 competition of October 1967.

He applied this principle of evolving architecture to his most widely known projects, the Theater at Lycabettus Hill and the Round School at Agios Dimitrios, both designed with a built in flexibility for future modification. Takis Zenetos completed 120 visionary projects throughout his career, but grew increasingly frustrated by the lack of appreciation for his futuristic vision by the establishment : alienated by what he might have experienced as the expedient, even anarchic changes that beset the post-war urban environment of Athens, and perhaps upset by his inability to influence the change he believed in with all his heart, he took his own life in 1977.

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