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Zisis Papamichos, Architect


ATHENS, 2019

He adores everything that involves art and creation. As a child he was really good at drawing and sketching. He likes photography, classical music, cinema, dance and fashion. His choice to become an architect was more like a one-way decision, as it’s the only way he could unite his inner artistic nature.

This week’s hideout project is about an artist and architect, Zisis Papamichos.

Every morning is kind of a ritual for him. Music is his addiction. Every day he plays the piano about half an hour, enjoying a warm cup of coffee. He believes that “rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning” and compares himself to the notes of the instruments. “As the musicians of an orchestra tune their instruments based on the note La on the piano, I am “tuned” as I play the piano, feeling ready to start my day.”

He listens to music everywhere. In the car, at home, in the office, almost everywhere. His love of music led him years ago to start playing the piano. He started on his own, buying an electric piano and a book of songs by Yann Tiersen. “Yann Tiersen’s music is the main reason I learned playing the piano a few years ago.“

In 2012, while he was living in Thessaloniki, he had to supervise two big projects in Athens that kept him away from his home. So, he was looking for a big flat at the center of Athens and found this lovely, with a great view of the Lycabettus hill. “I still remember the day I entered the empty living room. It was early in the morning and the sunlight was falling gently on the old, wooden parquet. There was a quiet, luminous, artistic energy in the ambient. Later, I heared that Marios Ploritis, a well-known writer and one of the most important Greek translators, lived and worked in that apartment for many years.”

His style preference is timeless with vintage touches. The interior of his home and office have similar references. Zisi’s office is in the same building as his house. He often forgets to leave the office at night. His favorite working day is Sunday, as he can work in peace while the phone isn’t ringing! He prefers not to set goals. He tries to do what he loves the most in the best possible way. He treats work as a challenge. “I’m trying to be more of a serious professional than a daydreamer artist.”. He aims to successful projects. Each project to him is unique, and his main goal is to make it last in time. If he thinks that a project will not work properly, he prefers not to participate in it. He hates failure and admits he is unable to manage it.

After a hard day at work, apart from playing some music, he often reads a book that helps him create new images, different from the ones that he had to create at his work. He loves every corner of his home. “Talking to the ex-partner of Marios Ploritis -Ms. Katia Dandoulaki-, she told me that the apartment I live in was always full of books, texts and papers that were later donated to the museum. “We lived among stacks of books,” she first told me when I asked her to talk to me about this house.”

The dining room in the center of the house, where the morning light enters, reminds him a small green oasis in the dark and gray city. His favorite spot is the music room. In this room there is a classic piano, and six guitars. The room is completed by a wonderful set of vintage 50’s furniture with the original green velvet tapestry and a lovely blue carpet, a gift of his partner. If there is anything he doesn’t like are the minimal and “cold” materials like glass or marble. He tries to always be in warm places. He rarely uses the lights on his ceiling. Most evenings at home, he prefers to light up some candles.

With him also lives Duke, his “blue-blood” pet. A “golden” pitbull who hates walking in the rain, doesn’t like loud voices and always sleeps with an arrogant expression. As Zisis says, “It’s a great responsibility to own a dog, you become responsible for another creature that is very instructive.”

His professional path in Athens opened the way to projects abroad: Singapore, New York, Moscow. When he returns to his hometown, Thessaloniki, he always has a great time. He loves this city because simply by strolling around the city center, he always meets a friend! During his last visit to Thessaloniki, he discovered an old pick up-radio from 1960, which was in excellent condition. It was very difficult to get it because the owner was emotionally bonded to it. He finally managed to convince her, and so the radio -which sound is still perfect- is one of his office’s items that he could hardly be separated from.

He watches more than 50 theatrical performances every year. During summer, he travels often to watch performances in Epidaurus and he has by now many friends in the theater field. Recently, he designed the scenery of some theatrical performances and especially of musicals such as “Evita”, “Hair” and the “Rocky Horror Show” directed by Constantinos Rigos.

He enjoys the sea and in general the wet element. He goes swimming almost daily, in the early morning before work. He loves traveling in places that he had a great time and that’s why you will find him two or three times a year in Istanbul or Rome. Currently he has a project in Madrid, which is expected to start soon. One of his unsatisfied desires is to spend a whole year on a distant destination. Which place does he has in mind?

He opened his home, his office, his most hidden secrets, his passion and his habits, he cramped himself and he managed to charm us with his music skills. He was photographed on a winter day by Dimitris Andritsos and chose to conclude with the following words.

I keep for myself a phrase from a documentary about the life of Yannis Moralis,

a beloved artist whose work and modest attitude towards people and life I admire,

which closes with the phrase of this great artist:

“My work is what you see.”

 

by Dimitra Dimitriou