Athens. The enemy is moving. A time of suffocating disorganization and dysfunction sets its rythms and its spaces. The huge sea has decided to move against us. A huge mass with little light, puny skylights and solar heaters is moving against us. A huge mass obliged to surrender to the minimum free space, to the rare spaces of dwelling. That mass that cultivates partial rationalities and uniform mediocrity is standing opposite from us. It moderates infrastructures, networks, existence. It breaks people and impoverishes them in spirit. But, look, it has gathered a few lighthouses near the Rock [the Acropolis Rock]. He has got radius and influence eternal and undisputed. He reminds us of bygone conditions; human kind in its childhood. He reminds us of a bygone myth, a bygone vision. Where is the corpus of Myth? A corpus free from the mirror of itself, but surrendered to every seduction.
It has caged the gold thread of Ariadne solely around him. Let’s let him breathe and let’s find the skein back. Let’s expand his hard but necessary touch. The enemy is moving. The Ancient Rock has found his place. His topos stifles with energy. He doesn’t hold any more capacity. Let him spread and stimulate! An urban axis will find the natural one that has fallen into oblivion. Critical point. A catastrophe will occur. Through the body of the tide a rock emerges. Seduction mosaics will dwell upon it.
An eye bleeds a tongue. Another eye attacks. The corneas are now exhausted. The moment has come for the Word to counter-attack. Memory, History and Topos are not sterile exploitable capitals. They are rage, labour and knife. Let them move onwards! On top of it lie nature, city, sex, archive and dance.
In the heart of derelict Athens a social condenser is proposed. Acropolis is being used as a prototype and comes into the 21st century. A tripartite system makes up the core of our proposal. An agora for the city on the first level. A new ground on the uppermost level. An osmosis rock in-between. A cut to highlight dead nature. What is, basically, proposed is the wandering on top of a new ground through a translation of the relation of man with the landscape and the city. On top of a longitudinal mass that accommodates movie theaters and various recreational functions cultural spaces are placed in downtown Athens.
On the terrace of the new rock the visitor of the Agora will stand amidst five temples.
Patisia is a degraded area with few public spaces and even less cultural spaces. The signs of abandonment and neglect are obvious to residents and visitors alike. A former place busting with life now almost left to ruins. Uniformity has struck the place and there is no orientation element for one to identify the city. Also, nothing suggests that this topos has any confidence in its vast potential; both on the social and urban level.
This design thesis project intends to create a social condenser in downtown Athens. The programs proposed are those of an agora, a cinema, a hotel and multiple cultural buildings ranging from a museum to a library. A bold gesture is made that goes against the grid of the built environment and aligns with the old creek of Levidi. The object is structured in a layered typology with ‘needles’ of cultural use. A grand inclined piazza is given to the public in the ground level filled with commercial uses. The second one houses a cinema while the theater makes its appearance in the free covered space and the tower with recreational facilities continues from below. The last level is an open topos where the theater and tower, with its hotel rooms, still function and a museum, a library and a dancehall are placed. The project is an urban artifact providing contemporary Athens with the public space and unique identity it deserves.
The enemy is moving and advancing. Its mass is dominant. An old memory moved underground. It threatened him. A clack was heard. An anomaly was born. A lunatic invited me to meet him. He seduced me with words of illusions and parallel worlds. His feet were not sturdy. His rhetoric was not familiar. He did not reproduce. He spoke. He communicated.
His top confused me. It whirled me around and showed me where I live. It disoriented me and told me to jump. It killed me and told me to jump. It aroused me and asked me to stay.
We will stay quiet and listen to our bodies.
We will watch ourselves live.
The mind will fall back, so as to read its history.
We will play wonderful games of skill and Love.
We will talk a lot, to us and everybody.
Life will be the only Art.