Lectures 2005
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"The light well in architecture of the years 1922 -1940" Kalogeropoulou Maria

At the beginning of the 20th century the import of concrete in architecture and the housing problem of refugees, lead to the birth of the building type of block of flats, that gives solutions but also weaknesses due to the growth of one dense, continuous building system with high constructions, and consequently, the creation of no properly illuminated apartments. In order to solve that problem, the idea of light wells was promoted, which were treated by the designers of the years 1922 – 1940, very differently than the way it is nowadays.  

Light wells in this primary period of application, were big internal voids, where apart from the windows of secondary rooms, we can also see secondary entries, as well as the backstairs of the building. It is also frequent the existence of a second auxiliary light well.

We present examples of blocks of flats of that period, like the building   “Antonopoulou” designed by K. Panagiotakos, the building “Vamvetsou”, by P. N. Tzelepis, the building “Spathari” and “Savidi” by N. G. Nikolaidis and the building “Kauffmann” by B. G. Tsagri.

However, not all the light wells have achieved their purpose. Progressively, in order to scrape together space for one more room in the apartment, the light well is shrieked, taking the minimum possible dimensions. With this tactic its meaning is lost and its function is set aside as it is proved by various “anti-examples”.