We became acquainted with the course of the Labarch architectural office team and its creator Chara Orfanoudakis.
- Author: Stefania Souki
- Photos: Μαρία Ξανθοπούλου
From residences to… mega yachts, the Labarch architecture studio has built a significant portfolio of projects, in the past nine years of its presence in the market. It’s philosophy focuses on eco-friendly materials and a unique design for boutique projects. Chara Orfanoudakis founded the studio in 2013 and since then, her constant architectural quests and professionalism, boosted by its team, quickly established her reputation in the field and resulted in winning awards in two architecture competitions.
“I came up with the idea of founding Labarch in the fall of 2012 and this idea came to fruition with the establishment of the studio initially in Moschato in 2013 and, subsequently, in Glyfada”, she states. “Having grown up in the construction business, since my family was active in the erection of apartment and office buildings, and having myself been actively involved in the family enterprise during and after my studies, I decided to establish my own architecture studio. The studio’s philosophy was to recruit persons of different specializations with a fresh look who would share my vision for an architecture that heeds customer needs and always comes up with an innovative proposal. It is a philosophy focused on eco-friendly materials and design for ‘’boutique’’ projects, with each of these being treated with the proper respect. There are no ready-made solutions or formulas”.
Today, Labarch is active in the design and construction of building projects and yacht refits, including interior design and decoration of luxury boats. ‘’It could be argued that the most important milestones for us were two of our projects being awarded the BIG SEE AWARD and the refitting of M/Y Chakra, an 85-meter mega yacht, the budget for which exceeded 12 million euros. However, we treat every project as a milestone for our office, because every customer is important and poses a new challenge which we must live up to”, explains Ms. Orfanoudakis.
Currently, the company’s portfolio is filled with projects practically all over Greece. However, the majority of the projects Labarch is working on are situated in the southern suburbs of Athens, namely, in the areas of Glyfada and Voula, as well as in popular island destinations such as Mykonos, Santorini and Lefkada. “Indicatively, this season we are completing the construction of a boutique massage – spa in downtown Athens, the engineering study for a three-floor residence in Voula, a villa in Mykonos and a restaurant in Santorini. In addition, we are finishing off the construction of a building in Moschato and the refurbishment of a traditional stone residence which was converted into a tourist facility in Lefkada”, states Ms. Orfanoudakis, whereas, in the southern suburbs, the company has undertaken two residential renovations in Glyfada which are currently under way.
In fact, Labarch’s strong footprint in the southern suburbs was one of the reasons that the office’s activities were almost unaffected by the pandemic. “In the southern suburbs of Athens there was a continuous constructing and investing rise during the last few years”, the Head of Labarch points outs, although the overall economic conditions remain volatile. “Personally, I don’t think we have come to the point of unaffected stability, given that it has been only a few years since Greece came out of the financial crisis and the general situation has been, on a global level, volatile. I do believe, however, that if any adverse conditions arise in the future, the southern suburbs will be the last to suffer the blow’’.
When asked if, at this point in time, the studio considers undertaking projects outside Greece, she underlines that ‘’we do not pursue business abroad. On the contrary, we have rejected certain proposals for projects outside Greece, since we have plenty of projects under way here’’.
Labarch’s main attribute is that, as a boutique office, they seek to keep a steady number of persons employed with the studio as well as a steady number of projects undertaken every year. ‘’This way we can undertake unique projects, keep a more personal contact with customers and work on every project with an emphasis on detail. An important advantage of our studio is that we can undertake the whole range of studies and constructions required for a project and deliver it to the customer in turn-key condition.