i've been doing the south part of the building a bit. two of the student halls-the one that has a sphere on it is the hall through which you pass to go to the balcony where there is a view to the theatre. The one underneath it is a hall for disabled people. There is an inverted tent on which people can lie down and a floor window for ventilation. the huge columns of the building have "pockets" that people can go in. one of the columns has easy access and for the other, one needs to climb on the octopus.-i ll change it, it does look like an octopus. i will try to make diagrams showing the public-private spaces and the circulation within the building soon. also i want to start applying colour and light because i think it's going to change the whole atmosphere and show how i imagine it to be.
18 February 2011
What is the most possible thing that could happen to a building in the middle of a city that has fallen into despair? -Possibly burn down. Riots, sun, police on motorbikes with shiny helmets reflecting uncertainties. The dust of desperate boredom that is tired of being an excuse for the memories of a place whose history buries it day by day, finally stops being the everyday enemy of the housewives. The crisis is there. And of course it's not economic... How could it be just that? The building gets on fire. It is made out of colourful metallic pieces like in playgrounds. Metal is covered with wood at certain places; no one would ever want to touch metal in the middle of August in Athens, nor be in a place that can melt in ten minutes if it gets on fire, so wood would slowly burn and give people the time to get out. And the building would then be left bare, with its skeleton being like a dinosaur that had a car accident. No walls, no ceilings, just a few concrete blocks here and there, up and down, in between the colourful metal beams, reminding of a neighbourhood's class divisions that once lived in a block and flat architecture; squared in theory and practice. The building, becomes a monument in the middle of the piazza. Or an abandoned canvas of abstract geometries that the city has no money to reconstruct, replace, or redamage. And maybe this is a good thing because when no one has money, no one cares about it anymore.
And people start playing.
16 February 2011
The project is about: Integration-Fun-Interaction
The idea of integration will partly lie on the interaction of the students of the school of architecture of Athens (15min walk from the site) with the students of the public school of the area (10-17 years old). The building is going to house student halls, about ten of them, and teaching spaces for students who want to give extra teaching support to the people from the area's public school.
From personal experience I know that these students have to learn at least three languages as they are immigrants -their mother language, greek and english. The public school's hours then are not sufficient for them and their parents cannot help them because they have to work longer than eight hours per day in order to survive. I am also familiar with the fact that their parents, although poor, are willing to pay a small amount of money to students who can help. In this way students will benefit as well from having space for more than one student that they generally have per lesson, stay in the halls for a year, and then leave for other students to come.
The building is then going to have public as well as private spaces with a garden being formed at the top of the church, expanding at its northern part and a playground-theatre in the centre of the square. The private aspect of the project is going to work as surveillance for the site and prevent it from becoming a dangerous place at night. Open spaces for the people to walk three levels above the ground with a view to the park will then be formed in between and on the terraces of the student halls which I want to look as separate types of "installation houses", each one having its own character and details. For the composition of the building I am using 3D modelling in combination with 2D drawings. 3D is interesting because I am able to see the interaction of the volumes and the creation of spaces that i hadn't imagined, that are "out of scale" (for kids?), or spaces that allow views which are framed by the rest of the building in a way that it makes it look like a squared framed canvas. And this is an idea that I would like to explore through film maybe later on.
The halls are going to stand on a long strip linking the church with the theatre and the idea of shifting the “up and down” existing social class division in the blocs of flats around the square will lie within the tallest part of the building being accessible to everyone and an entrance to the gardens on the top and the northern side of the church.