house with monochrome interior in blue
Architecture Young Architects 2022

LOT Office for Architecture Takes Abstraction Through Construction

Splitting their time between Athens and Brooklyn, Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis’s architecture and design studio is also split in two: LOT Office for Architecture, for buildings, and Objects of Common Interest for, as the name suggests, objects. But as Trampoukis explains, “It’s all integrated.” They launched their architecture practice in 2012, and the design spinoff came three or four years later. In 2021 alone, Objects of Common Interest had solo exhibitions at Queens’s Noguchi Museum and the Design Museum Brussels and today, Trampoukis says, “We draw inspiration from both scales, blending them into hybrids. Sometimes a building looks like an object or an object has the organization of a building.” One example: a 2019 student micro-apartment project in Thessaloniki, Greece is an arrangement of black cubic geometries on a street of “conservative ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s architecture.” Trampoukis explains that though the idea was to place an “object in the urban context,” the 24-unit structure was not meant to be “a spaceship that landed and has nothing to do with the context.” Rather it subtly draws inspirations from nearby typologies and historic collective housing projects, but abstracts them. “Sometimes we call it creating cohesiveness through contrast.”

Leonidas Trampoukis (left) and Eleni Petaloti.

Their 2016 installation in New York’s Flatiron Plaza also blended architecture and object, creating public space from sculptural, lighted white arches dangling with hammocks. “It kind of sparked this interest between scales,” Trampoukis says. “We weren’t called to do a space for gathering, we were called to do a public art piece. But we selected something that’s actually usable by the people and brings people together in this informal but surprising way.” The firm’s projects have ranged widely: their first built structure was a beach club in Mykonos, and they’ve done everything from private residences to larger-scale commissions. However the process is always much the same. “We work intuitively a lot, meaning we start with sketching and discussing. Often we envision or we build a project in our minds just by discussing with Eleni or with our team.” 

In Brooklyn, LOT Office for Architecture designed a monochromatic, three-story residential building.

What unifies the various creations however is not a signature style, but rather a standpoint. “We want to keep that almost naive clarity that a concept sketch has all the way from the beginning to the end,” says Trampoukis. “It’s basically taking an idea and abstracting and simplifying it to the absolute essence that you can almost describe it with a single sentence.”