The gas plant of Athens was founded in 1857 in order to meet the city’s need for public lighting and has left its mark on the city’s urban planning and its economic development. It was the first power production unit not just in Athens, but across Greece.
The gas plant provided the city with lighting and power for nearly 130 years. The City of Athens had been receiving complaints about the quality of gas since 1883, and by the ’60’s the factory was running at a very low level, because the type of energy produced was considered to be “obsolete”. In 1984 the factory’s operation was suspended, not so much due to the pollution produced, but mainly due to its location in the center of Athens, near Acropolis.
Almost thirty years after the suspension of its operation, the first industrial museum of Athens – the Industrial Gas Museum – was inaugurated in the factory’s complex of historic buildings, under the auspices of the City of Athens.
On the occasion of the museum’s operation, a gift shop was also opened in its premises. The aim of the gift shop is to support the work of Greek industrial designers, so that they produce their designs within the country, given the strong need for domestic production.
The first industrial designer to get commissioned by the museum was Yiannis Ghikas, who turned to the field of lighting, since the gas plant was mainly founded in order to provide lighting, and to the concept of the “old fashioned” and “obsolete” – characteristics that led to the suspension of the factory’s operation. Yiannis Ghikas designed – what else? – a candle holder, an “old technology” source of light. Candlehandle is manufactured in Greece by Convex, a greek family company operating in the field of decorative hardware since 1973.
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