Athens x4 - Competition


Location: Athens
Status: Competition
Year: 2010
Team: Louis Barault, Katerina Tsigara, Ceca Krstic

Τhe subject of the competition  is to select 4 typical blocks in a degraded urban environment in the neighborhoods of Athens and work on the intersecting roads.
The area of intervention has all the urban and social characteristics of a degraded area in the heart of the city center. In the current state, the void between buildings is dedicated by 80% to vehicles and only by 20% to pedestrians. The streets between these blocks are like a “river” where cars are flowing, while on its sides pedestrians circulate. The impression that you gain by wandering through these areas is of an "urban canyon" where cars flow.
The main idea is based on the humanistic approach through creating common public  space for the civilians. The aesthetic improvement, the expansion of public space by reviewing the absolute boundaries between private and public, the reintegration of degraded areas in the broader map of the city and finally the creation of green zones even in the most unexpected places, consist challenges. The basic idea of the proposal has four basic elements :
a) The recomposition of the "river".  By redefining  the boundaries of the "river" as much space as possible is offered to people. The "riverbed" that flows through the urban "canyon" is where you can come across entertainment  while green zones and the transition entry zone to the buildings, are placed on the "river banks".
b) The opening of isolated private spaces, through porticos. With the assumption that the common space is not enough, at three points of the cross are created equal number of "porticos"-bridges, through which the boundaries between private and public are renegotiated and the "river" penetrates to the private space.
c) The consolidation of four blocks through 3 dimensional green "fragments" which connect the facades of buildings. The fragments of plantation through the casting of their shadows create theatrical scenery upon the buildings facades as well as on the level of the riverbed. The street lighting is suspended on the supporting grid
d) The reintegration of the neighborhood in the wider cultural map of Athens. The benches are like "compasses" and are situated in various directions, the imaginary direction line connects the region with important cultural sightseeing of Athens.