by yannis zavoleas

Short-listed project for Rethink Athens competition.

Project title: TOP-DOWN.

Location: Athens, Greece.

Year: 2012.

Credits: Ctrl_Space Lab. Yannis Zavoleas, Nikolas Patsavos. Team: Y.Zavoleas, N.Patsavos, S.Yannoudis, A.Kapsalis, C.Daflouka, G.Dimitrakopoulou, I.Chinoporou, T.Dogani, D.Mairopoulos, N.Batakis, N.Papavasileiou, I.Apostolopoulos, P.Charvalakis, I.Thanou


The proposal puts forward a relative multi-layered strategy shortly described as “revisiting the architectural typology of the arcade”. The two facades of each side of the boulevards are addressed as the interior of a building block themselves. In the semi-private space of the proposed arcade a series of initial polarities are put at work. Big-small, high-low, movement-stop, social-private, natural-artificial, formal-informal and monumental-everyday are the most influential relations at hand.

The overall concept of the arcade is broken down into a series of layers adaptive to different conditions. Starting from the top, the first element is a ubiquitous bio-climatic shed covering the street space. It may be filled by a layer of local and enduring creeping plants offering a variety of effects ranging from filtering the air and the light, shadowing and cooling, to creating a new green landscape flowing at the center of the metropolis. The transition between this big scale supra-structure and the ground is taking place with the mediation of a second layer comprised of framed structures relating on one hand to the flows of the tram, bicycles and people and, on the other, to the existing arcades. These local structures are invested with a thin wire-frame system which can either allow air to circulate or be covered with plants or zero-energy media walls. These frames provide with the possibility for a more intimate set of urban rooms, spaces within the more metropolitan space of the shed and they are followed by yet a third level of intervention which is more linked to the ground per se.

A set of elements may be combined and customized according to local spatial parameters and users’ choice. They could easily produce a variety of possibilities, move to different locations if needed and expand.


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