The charming countryside villa built in Thessaloniki in 1898 for Ahmed Kapandji. Eleftherios Venizelos lived here in 1917, as head of provisional revolutionary government based in Thessaloniki. Today it houses Thessaloniki’s Cultural Center of the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation (M.I.E.T).
The building is characterized by the influence of the architecture of the Central European countries and it is a typical architectural sample of eclecticism. By this term we characterize the rhythm that borrows elements and figures from different periods of time and a variety of styles in order to combine them inherently in architectural creation, to coexist with success in a building.
Villa Kapanji consists of a main building and tower. Its basic elements are the complexity of the volume, the composite roof with big slopes and the rectangular tower. The building is characterized by large openings, pediments, corners and parapets.
The result on the facades as well as the quality of the construction, which in most cases was based on stone, prove the effort of the architect to confront his building as handcrafted.Τhe architect attempts to embellish the view of the building to create shadows to prevent blurring from the mighty Greek sun.
For the construction of the building, mainly the brick and the stone were used. Also the building’s characteristic material is the hand-crafted wood which is used in the construction of frames and in decorative elements. In addition, we recognize some decorative elements of plaster. In the case of the outer stairs, they are constructed of marble. Characteristic is the excessive use of iron bars which contribute also at the decoration.
The building maintains the principles of organizing the views of historical rhythms:
— rhythmic repeatability with greater freedom in the morphoplasticformalities released from the strict formalities of neo-classicism.
— Emphasis on the recent urban acquis: the height of buildings.
The interior decoration is rich, identifying the spaces (for example the flooring materials: marble at the entrances, parquet in the reception areas and planks in the rest). The staircase is decorated with wooden linings. On the ground floor and the first floor the ceilings are painted, although much of them have suffered irreparable damage.