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Porphyrios, Demetri

Porphyrios, Demetri (1949– ). Greek-born architect. Believing that architecture must be firmly grounded in building technology and craftsmanship, using sustainable natural materials, he has not been afraid of returning to the principles of ‘firmness, commodity, and delight’ as essentials. Among his major works is the town of Pitiousa, Spetses, Greece (completed 1993), where he created a built environment firmly based on traditional European urban patterns, with a series of two-storey compact houses drawing on Neo-Classical precedents, including paraphrases of designs by Schinkel: the scheme might be regarded as an example of New Urbanism. His mastery of architectural language based on developing tradition has been further demonstrated in his designs for Chepstow Villas, Kensington, London (1988–9), Belvedere Village, Ascot, Berks. (1989), and the New Courts, Theatre, and Library, Selwyn College, Cambridge (1995— the first phase of which started in 2003). At Magdalen College, Oxford, the New Grove Buildings include a residential block (1991–6— in which a C17 architectural language is used), a Fellows'Building (late-Gothic in style) but the adjoining Auditorium (1995–9) is crisply Neo-Classical. Among other works by Porphyrios Associates (established 1981) the Three Brindleyplace Office Building, Birmingham (completed 1998), the SANE Research Centre, Warneford Hospital, Oxford (completed 2001), the Interamerican Headquarters Office Building, Athens (completed 2002), the Old Palace School for Girls, Croydon, Surrey (completed 2001), the Duncan Galleries, Nebraska, USA (completed 2002), and the Forbury Square Office, Reading, Berks. (completed 2003), are cited. In 2003 the firm prepared designs for New Whitman College, Princeton University, USA, various urban developments at Val d'Europe, Paris, a luxury hotel in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, and the Johannesviertel office development in Berlin. Porphyrios has also been involved in preparing Master-Plans for Trowbridge, Wilts., and the King's Cross Central Development, London.

Active in the academic world, Porphyrios has published several books dealing with on architectural history, Classicism, Rational architecture, and his own work. He has received many awards.

Bibliography

Papadakis & Watson (eds.) (1990);
personal knowledge
Porphyrios (1982);
Porphyrios Associates (1999)

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