The creative team of k-studio, in every chance and in every location it is assigned to create a new work, adopts a contextual and holistic approach, trying to reenact the feeling of being present in a particular place.
From the dry and wind-swept Cyclades’ landscape and the lush and tropical Panama all the way to the dense urban web of Kuala Lumpur, London’s gray buildings and Athens, the creative team of k-studio, in every chance and in every location it is assigned to create a new work, adopts a contextual and holistic approach, trying to reenact the feeling of being present in a particular place.
We dedicate time to take a thorough insight into the story of each project. Regardless of the scale, location or use, a successful design needs to be in harmony with its context. We create stories for every visitor and every user. Every building is a vehicle towards an experience that activates all our senses,” explains Dimitris Karampatakis, who co-founded k-studio with his brother, Konstantinos, and has delivered many lectures on the role of architecture as a storytelling medium.
As she points out, even though there’s no such thing as an objectively beautiful building, a compatible and fitting building surely does exist. As for his definition of an ideal building, it needs to have roots in its “birthplace”, to project its origin through its distinctive features and to live up to its role. These are the group’s trademark values ever since its kick-off project, the restaurant Alemagou in Mykonos, and up until today.
In the case of Alemagou, drawing inspiration from the natural and anthropogenic habitat, as well as from the island’s legacy, their goal was to interpret cycladic architecture and adequately meet the modern-day needs, offering an evolutionary take on tradition.
As he explains, they relied heavily on dry stone, an abundantly available and widely used material, experimenting on new uses. Dimitris and Konstantinos inherited their curiosity for the world of materials and the various techniques, as well as their love for the very process of constructing, from their architect father, before delving into these qualities through their studies in Architecture, in London.
Even though their return to Greece coincided with the outbreak of the financial crisis, the gloomy vibes did not put them down. On the contrary, they targeted their work to innovations and projects that provided them with the chance to bring forth the product’s identity as the main outcome of the designing process. “That’s how we came up with the office’s methodology and determined our focus of attention, developing a comprehension of the holistic nature of each project and of the ways it is interpreted both in architectural and conceptual terms. This way, we got accustomed to various work scales and particular typologies, as well as to different working environments. Amidst the financial crisis, we were equipped with the proper tools to seize any chance that would come up both in Greece and abroad.”
Indeed, chances did come up and Athens-based k-studio took on projects both in Greece and abroad. According to Dimitris Karampatakis, success can be found where the hard work and the energy you have devoted cross paths with luck. The office’s recent architectural studies include the design of a large-scale hotel complex in the Peloponnese, the study for the construction of four winter cottages in the Swiss Alps, the design of newly built residences and apartments in Greece and in England and catering establishments in Athens.
The cities that serve as role models for Dimitris Karampatakis are no other than Barcelona and Copenhagen, which he describes as “living organisms that constantly redefine the give and take scheme between the state and its citizens, the balance between the private and the public sphere, while safeguarding an urban web”. Their projects in the four corners of the planet, whether in the heart of London or in the exotic milieu of Thailand, always carry within them a touch of Greece. The values they embrace in the field of design are inextricably tied with their homeland and the culture of having a good time, which serves as the jumping-off point for every journey they embark on. Hospitality, a notion embedded in Greek culture since ancient times and up until today’s tourism-oriented economy, keeps fueling their work and ideas.
The very act of designing is a means to unravel spatial stories through the scope of architecture in order to produce unique experiences.” They place great emphasis on the notion of well-being within their own working space, that’s why they have made kick-boxing, yoga and food and drink night outs a part of their everyday office life. After all, they try to keep their working values alive and kicking beyond office hours, through interpersonal relations shaped back at the times when their team included no more than a few members.
Today, within a group that exceeds 70 people, this culture has been enriched, leaving its mark both on the team’s working relations and the creativity of each separate member. Dimitris Karampatakis labels this 13-year course since the founding of k-studio as a constant evolutionary process that provides experiences and skills to the members of a group that is constantly getting bigger and more versatile. As for their unaccomplished dream, the answer is no other than a park. A simple, yet invaluable, ambition.
Here’s a glance at some of awards and honorary distinctions under k-studio’s belt
Dexamenes – Shortlisted in Mies van der Rohe Award | European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, 2022
K-studio – Large Firm of the Year Award in Multi-Disciplinary Interior Design | The Architectural Masterprize, 2021
Dexamenes – Shortlisted in Hotel and Leisure – Completed Buildings category | WAF, 2021
Villa Mandra – Shortlisted in House & Villa (Rural/Nature) – Completed Buildings category | WAF, 2021
Kalesma – Winner of Best Room & Bathroom and Best Lobby / Foyer / Reception |100% Hotel Design Awards, 2021
Dexamenes – Winner – International Architecture Awards by the Chicago Atheneum, 2021
Villa Mandra – Nominated for Best Residential Project at Créateurs Design Awards, 2021
Dexamenes – Winner of Best Resort and Best Room & Bathroom at 100% Hotel Design Awards, 2020
Dexamenes – Winner of Ultimate Accolade Award in AHEAD Global Awards 2020
Dexamenes – Winner of Best Creative Conversion in the AHEAD Global Awards 2020
Villa Mandra -Winner of Best Architecture Single Residence Greece, Europe | International Property Awards 2020