The greatest d.i.y. project is living happily.
“Eclecticism-every truth is so true that any truth must be false.” F.H. Bradley
When someone wants to talk about eclecticism, it is not like talking about a particular style. To be eclectic means to borrow of a variety of styles. The approach of not being attached to a specific system but choosing what is actually the best (subjectively the best, of course) is what for the first time, a group of ancient philosophers did in the first century BCE.
The nineteenth century is the period when eclecticism became even more widespread. All these elements constituting a building with eclectic features are so intense and bold that sometimes can make you wonder, how the juxtaposition of all these characteristics can be so harmonious without one item obscuring another.
This feeling was exactly what motivated me to search further details about eclecticism. And I had that strange and captivating emotion when I visited certain characteristic eclectic houses in Thessaloniki, Greece and of course the spectacular Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family in Barcelona, Spain. I won’t say anything more about Antoni Gaudi’s emblematic temple of Sagrada Familia here, because I think this is a case that I cannot describe not even in few words in just a simple post. I am just referring to the church of Sagrada Familia as one of the most ideal examples of eclecticism. The elements that can be found merged here are mostly Gothic style combined together with elements derived from nature such as specific symmetries and all these geometric details in the interior of the temple.
“It is not a disappointment that I will not be able to finish the temple. I will grow old, but others will come after me. What must be always preserved is the spirit of the work; its life will depend on the generations that transmit this spirit and bring it to life.” A. Gaudí
I am writing here about three luxurious residences in Thessaloniki which were built in the late 19th-early 20th century. At Queen Olga Avenue (‘Vasilisis Olgas’ street), anyone can notice these three outstanding buildings; it is Casa Bianca, Villa Kapandji and Villa Mordoch.
Casa Bianca was created by Piedro Arrigoni, the famous Italian artist. This building belonged to Dino Fernandez Diaz, an Italian factory owner. The residence was named after his wife Blanche (Bianca) Meyer. This building is now being used as the Municipal Art Gallery of Thessaloniki. Some of the eclectic elements of the house are: the attic (mansarde), the Baroque marble staircase and many other Renaissance and Art Nouveau features.
In the early 1890s there was built Villa Kapandji. In this building someone can find the Cultural Center of MIET in Thessaloniki (National Bank Cultural Center of Northern Greece). The influences of the architecture styles of Central Europe are really obvious in the mansion. Different materials and ornaments are combined in different rooms such as parquet flooring, marbles, wooden carved decor, painted ceilings with floral edgings and more.
Villa Mordoch is a two storey building, constructed in 1905. The coexistence of Neoclassical, Renaissance, Baroque and Art-Nouveau details are the top characteristics of this specific eclectic mixture. The internal painted decors and the octagonal side part of the mansion that looks like a tower, make this building even more special.
“Eclecticism is the word. Like a jazz musician who creates his own style out of the styles around him, I play by ear.” Ralph Ellison
Images (c) matinamk, youhandmademehappy.wordpress.com.