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Refugee Houses of Kokkinia

The Refugee Houses of Kokkinia are early examples of refugee housing with strong Bauhaus influences.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1923 Building of settlement began.

    1929 The new building regulation paved the way for high-rise buildings.

    1933 The municipality of Nea Kokkinia was formally established with about 30,000 inhabitants.

    1940 It was renamed as municipality of Nikea.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

Kokkinia is one of the first refugee settlements of Greek refugees of 1922. It includes the neighbourhoods of Karavas, Armenika (under Petrou Ralli St.) and Germanika (around the cemetery). Few of the first refugee residences have survived. The shape of the buildings always varied and most of them were detached. That is why there are no free green spaces, but the residents always ensured their balconies were full of flowers, as is the case today. The orthonormal system was applied in the street plan. Refugee houses (mainly apartment buildings) are distinguished by abstraction, economy of means, functionality and lack of decoration. This typology was spontaneous, as a result of needs, rather than as a deliberate reference to the modernist movement.

What I can't see

The mass arrival of refugees after the exchange of populations with Turkey (1924) created a major humanitarian problem and all public spaces and many buildings were occupied. Sheltering this population was a huge challenge, and approximately 5,000 houses were built every year. The selection of settlements was based on the existence of free expropriated sites in the outskirts of the city. A part of Kokkinia was a dump before it became a settlement. The name comes from the red colour (Kokkino: red in Greek) of the soil, which was suitable for brick construction. The settlement began with hangars, evolved into wooden houses, then two-storey houses, and finally blocks of flats. Nine three-storey apartment buildings (1934-5, Kimon Laskaris) of Petrou Ralli St. were considered dangerous after the earthquake of 1981, and they were demolished, thus creating the courtyard of the hospital in Nikea. The refugees brought a folk tradition that led to the development of an interesting cultural identity and an active social life of this large refugee settlement with cafes, pastry shops, cinemas, cultural clubs, public services, churches of various denominations, schools and other facilities.


  • Address: Agriniou & Ag. Anargyron St.


Georgakopoulou F.,  (2003), Διερεύνηση της επιρροής του μοντέρνου κινήματος στο σχεδιασμό και την ανέγερση των προσφυγικών κατοικιών στην Αθήνα και τον Πειραιά (1930-1940), [Investigation of the influence of the modern movement on the design and construction of refugee residences in Athens and Piraeus (1930-1940)] in

Last visit 12/6/2019


Kyramargiou E., (d.u.), Ιστορία των Οικισμών της Ελλάδας (15ος– 20ος αιώνας), [The History of Greek Settlements (15th– 20th Centuries)], National Hellenic Research Foundation in

Last visit 12/6/2019


Leontidou M., (2016), Φτωχογειτονιές της ελπίδας, [Slums of hope], in Ιστορία μιας πόλης, [A City’s History] in Lifo, v.3, p.p. 50-59


Lianos Ν.Α., (2016), Η Στεγαστική Αποκατάσταση των Προσφύγων, [Housing Restitution of Refugees] in Ιστορία μιας πόλης, [A City’s History] in Lifo, v.3, p.p. 40-49


Mpelavilas N., (2021), Ιστορία της πόλης του Πειραιά, 19ος και 20ος αιώνας, [The History of the City of Piraeus, 19th and 20th centuries], Alexandria Publication