A competition for the transformation of a former cemetery in Nikea, just west of central Athens, has been won by Greek firm Topio7, with a proposal that creates a revitalized public park as a result of “a mutual osmosis between the park and the city”. A number of green buffer zones – “the elastic limit” – are utilized to frame a procession-like journey from the bustle of the city to the calm of the park’slandscape.
Highlighting the importance of the site’s previous use, the architects explain that the “main objective of the project is the creation of an open, accessible public space, a contemporary urban park with ecological-bioclimatic character, with special emphasis on the social dimension and the site’s memory.”
The Parthenon, perhaps the most celebrated example of Classical Greek architecture, was only the first of a series of remarkable buildings to be constructed atop the Athenian Acropolis in the wake of the Persian Wars. Led by the renowned statesman Pericles, the city-state embarked on an ambitious rebuilding program which replaced all that had been razed by the Persians. The new complex, while dedicated to the gods and the legends that surrounded the Acropolis, were as much a declaration of Athens’ glory as they were places of worship – monuments to a people who had risen from the ashes of a war to become the most powerful and prosperous state in the ancient world.
It is unsurprising that Athens, the city widely considered to be the cradle of Western civilization, would have made as celebrated a contribution to architecture as it has to countless other human pursuits. Built on a hilltop above the contemporary city, the weathered marble complex known as the Acropolis stands as a faded remnant from the former city-state’s ancient glory years, surrounded by the products of the centuries that followed. The greatest of these landmarks, the Parthenon, captures an age long past when Athens was the wealthiest and most powerful city-state in Greece and beyond.
How will everyday life evolve in the cities of tomorrow? What kind of changes will smart systems, technologies of automation and constant connectivity bring? Which new economic models might emerge and what will the role of the particularities of different geographical areas be? How will the development of the future cities affect the environment and the natural resources of the planet?
For this edition of The Urbanist, Monocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team report from the two-day CityLab summit, which "gathered the world’s top mayors and urban leaders for a series of chats on how to to make our cities a better place." They explore the vision for London’s transport infrastructure, discover how Rio de Janeiro is gearing up its digital strategy ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, and find out how to create a smart city through data. On top of that, they chat to millennials in Washington and "sit down for a very honest chat with the mayor of Athens."
With this year marking the 50th anniversary of Le Corbusier’s death, the team of organizations is seeking “contemporary interpretations concerning multidisciplinary approaches over Modernism and specifically over Le Corbusier’s work, while [exploring] possible themes and directions of the memorial representation” in present day. Designs should emphasize commentary, rather than a tribute to Le Corbusier.
This year the AA Athens Visiting School aims to challenge the phenomenon of perceptual constancy through the design of architectural prototypical families. In line with the basic Gestalt principles, a variety of models of different shapes and sizes will be designed through means of digital computation. Various morphologies will be derived through a bottom-up approach via various coding techniques. To bridge the gap between the digital and physical aspect of the design iterations, AA Athens will make use of digital fabricating machines to produce architectural prototypes and add mechanics to amplify their communicative characteristics. A complete 1:1 scale structure will be constructed, enabling interaction via sight, hearing and touch as a result of a series of initial testing models. These proposals will be formulated through the combination of different design software.
Curated by Apostolis Artinos, the exhibit "The Minimum Structure" features a design for an urban hut by deltarchi | dragonas christopoulou architects. Citing the mid-19th century desire to escape the city, manifest in examples such as Martin Heidegger's hütte, Le Corbusier's cabanon and Michelangelo Antonioni’s “L’avventura,” the firm has designed a structure to provide a spare space for meditation and peace among Athenian rooftops.