March 24, 2015


by yannis zavoleas


Drawing a clear line between the more prescriptive undergraduate model, the new fourth year Master of Architecture program is challenging academic staff and their students by providing greater scope to direct their experience. Course co-ordinator, Yannis Zavoleas, with support from Architecture’s Head of School Mark Taylor and two casual tutors, is driving a research-based approach to the course, where students are required to establish their own research aims and develop their own study briefs.


December 4, 2014


by yannis zavoleas

Master’s Course, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Course Coordinator: Yannis Zavoleas


This studio aims to expand the body’s performative behaviours as these are manifested in its structure and logic, also in its relations among the parts and the metabolic functions directing its form. A found body is scrutinized through processes of analysis and then it is given new meanings through a series of transformations aiming to tie it to a new context. Analysis involves tracing literal and metaphorical meanings about the body, as these are later used as semantic tools to define architectural space and form. The list of references includes – but not limited to – behaviours associated with the body such as structure, symbiosis, prosthetics, trauma, deformation, anatomy, skin, covering/revealing, flows and actions.

Found Body Vs. Mutant Body

A found body is viewed as a weak topology whose inherent properties are rediscovered and reenacted, in so doing showing multiple potentials for rejoining with a new context. The body is an organic entity that constantly adapts to its environment for its survival. Adaptation involves dynamic exchanges between the body and its environment, expressed in the form of energy transformation and negotiation of different systems sharing the same resources. Due to adaptation, the body is constantly subject to mutation causing the emergence of new species.

The mutant body talks about systems whose overall characteristics and behaviour are addressed in relation to internal processes as well as to the environment. Systems, geometric shapes, patterns and other typological references may be viewed as dynamic entities. Mutation aids to understand the properties of architectural space as changing values that reflect upon different scenarios, described by relational rules. Properties become variants holding the body’s propensity to initiate coalitions, hybridizations and unprecedented mixtures. As with the organisms, the principles of form may be codified into a DNA-like code. Architecture’s code is set in response to multitude factors, causing structural transformations, mixed-use programs, typological variations and associations at different scales. Implementation, adaptation, local alterations due to changing conditions, all of these may be viewed as outcomes of negotiation between architectural species and their environment. An understanding of architecture as a mutant body helps to break from unnecessary preconceptions, in an attempt to reconcile between its generative causes and the final form.

October 26, 2014


by yannis zavoleas

Yannis Zavoleas, The University of Newcastle, Australia

Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Creative Works | The University of Newcastle Australia | 2014 | Ongoing project

Research Background

An interest in biology has been present in architectural discourse since early modernism. An updating of the analogies between the two fields goes along with the introduction of computation in design research. In respect, the following cases approach different biological themes with the aid of advanced simulation and computation tools, aiming to show new paths for architectural research.

Research Contribution

Bio-structuralism is a term that addresses the benefits of biological structures as highly efficient modes of self organization and dynamic formation based on performative models, further explored under the digital scope. The proposed studies pertain to an area of interdisciplinary research developed under the biodigital theme, which has been on the main focus internationally for over one decade.

July 23, 2014


by yannis zavoleas


(Abstract from the introduction)

The European Association for Architectural Education (EAAE-AEEA) Subnetwork on Architectural Theory, bringing together a wide group of architectural pedagogists working collaboratively on the role and nature of architecture theory in schools of architecture, gathered in Chania in the summer of 2010, in order to focus on the collateral relations between digital/material and depth/surface. In that seminal meeting, the group, invited by Ctrl_Space [1] Lab founders Yannis Zavoleas and Nikolas Patsavos, the Center for Mediterranean Architecture (KAM-CMA) and the Department of Architecture of the Technical University of Crete, were practically asked to capitalise the findings of its previous work sessions in Hasselt, Trondheim, Lisbon and Fribourg [2] by applying methods and concepts developed at those occasions as an interpretative critical tool within the context regarding the emergent digital architecture nature and its effects on education. The whole attempt was seen as an opportunity to revisit a field which, so far, had been often seen as something extraneous and contradictory, if not even hostile to the origins and the traditions of architecture; an attitude the group willed to also problematise and situate it within its relative context.
There has been an important break in the polarity between depth and surface caused in contemporary architecture by the emergence of a new digital materiality and tactility. On a technical level, this is due to techniques of fabrication linking the design and representation process directly with fabrication, whereas in the level of perception and representation, it follows the aftermath of folding in architecture and its claim for a new continuity based on the abolishment of the traditional spatial dipoles (interior/exterior, up/down In a broader sense, this shift towards the surface of things as “the deepest side of the world” has to do with a wider socio-cultural change which has been triggered by postmodern irony and by the wish to “revalorize all values”. The dualities operating as the founding myths of architecture have been widely reassessed by being subjected to arguments on their relative value and on the need to work in-between such poles as form and content, façade-space, man-building, building-nature, matter-intelligence, representation-reality, skin-structure, natural-artificial, object-subject etc.. In fact, new hybrid constructions and concepts have taken their place: cyborg, enhanced reality, virtual processor, information whereas the focus has been turned towards not the opposition among the two traditional poles but the possible relations and exchanges of properties between them.
The above issues were addressed by architects and scholars from Finland, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, the USA, Italy, the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Turkey and Greece who contributed to the workshop by means of both individual presentations organised in two five sessions, and two keynote lectures by Kostas Terzidis (Harvard GSD) and Vana Tentokali (AUTh), and two round table workshops-discussions. Following the meeting, all participants were asked to prepare their revised and updated written contributions in order to produce the final outcome of the project in the form of the present edited volume. The five sessions are organised thematically in a way covering historical, epistemological, technical, conceptual-perceptual and natural properties of the issue respectively. The two keynote lectures are crossing this multifaceted subject in two different axis by emphasising at either the anthropological-perceptual and the technical-ethical challenges underlying the overall re-organisation of architectural knowledge and practice discussed. In that sense, they provide with a first opportunity to unify the various perspectives proposed throughout the book.



January 10, 2014


by yannis zavoleas

8th semester

Instructor: Yannis Zavoleas

Theme subject: Systemic approaches in architectural design. Archetypical schemas and their transference to space

Short Description

In the research framework outlined by a systematic understanding of space design, the course focuses on an analysis of archetypical schemas coined in the modern and the late modern era. Archetypes with reference to the grid, also to linear arrangements and their derivatives such as the web, the mat and the matrix, were developed as schematic interpretations of verbal descriptions about space, being descriptive of its structure. The related quest has evolved over the last twenty years. Advanced archetypical systems have been generated, whose nominative characteristics respond to contemporary issues about architectural design, also to a variety of conditions and qualities describing space, including the relationships among its units.

In reflection of the above, new archetypical alternatives are investigated over the course. As a general observation, there is a shift of interest concerning design methodologies. Specifically, an interest in preset typologies describing space would give way to a quest of its inner logic, stemming from the interaction among the parameters about an architectural project, thereby bridging the gap between analysis and synthesis.

November 1, 2013


by yannis zavoleas

Eleftherias Square, Thessaloniki, Greece | 2013

Ctrl_Space Lab & Ahylo Studio

Concept, coordination: Yannis Zavoleas, Ioulietta Zindrou, Pavlos Xanthopoulos

Team: Y.Zavoleas, I.Zindrou, P.Xanthopoulos, N.Kogkelli, S.Antonopoulos, N.Patsavos, G.Zamani, E.Ioannidou, D.Lada, I.Kalogeropoulou, A.Tsesmetzi, Ch.Gavra

Mechanical Engineer: Y.Kaonis

Landscape: M.Tertilianos

Civil Engineer: A.Gavalas


Eleutherias Square stands out as a highly symbolic and programmatically important place. It comprises of a series of non-unified elements calling for a new holistic  synthesis. This is indeed an area operating as a multi-programmatic node fed by the commercial and recreational activities of Ladadika, the central commercial streets of  Eleftheriou Venizelou and Mitropoleos and the seafront Nikis avenue and promenade. The square is located at a critical distance both from the main monumental axis and public spaces of Aristotelous and Dioikiterion Squares as well as the remains of the western Byzantine walls. The current shape and condition of Eleftherias Square is the product of Ernest Hebrard’s Thessaloniki canonizing reconstruction, while on a socio-cultural level, maybe the most haunting local event challenging the social memory of the city was the second world war concentration of the Jewish Sephardim community of the city before their eventual tragic deportation and annihilation. This was the last act of Thessaloniki’s cosmopolitan drama and in being so, it provides with a powerful inherent dynamic awaiting to be channelled back to the reality of the place. From a strictly architectural point of view, the square is defined by an array of non-standing out buildings, characteristic standard office buildings of the last 100 years, with few exceptions such as the Stein Megaron and the traces of the Wall. At the same time, the existing green needs to be enriched in order to claim the mass and the variety which would turn it to an important asset for the area as well as for the wider city.

Based on the above, the following compositional priorities may be defined: i. The Square, as a multi-programmatic node condenses the surrounding activities (commerce, leisure and culture). Venizelou and Mitropoleos are being channelled to the plateau on its northern part and then whirled towards its central area while eventually output towards Ladadika and the Quai. the outcome of this process is that the future functions are spread via a network of flows and activity poles dynamically introduced to the emergent urban scape. ii. The historical memory is related to the following elements of the concept: a. the old city and the Ottoman city front are being symbolized as a whole by the trace of the Byzantine City Wall present as a border between the flat zone connected to the commercial district and the irregular topography unfolding towards the sea front. b. The tragic incident of the Holocaust is metaphorically transferred to the semantics of the water which is adopted both as an element of purification and as an ubiquitous dynamic force active as a parameter defining the new topography. iii. The existing trees defining a Π shape surrounding three sides of the squares while their scale equals that of the adjacent buildings. At the core of the square a composite complex of new trees and other smaller scale plants are allowing the gradual bridging with the relative scales of the humans, the intermediate sub-areas and the whole area.

Thus, the proposal presents with a socially and environmentally viable opportunity to re-engineer the image of the area in study and Thessaloniki as a whole by means of an emergent dynamic new topography allowing a multi-faceted spatial narrative developing along spaces with polyvalent programmatic and aesthetic attributes. The strategy profits from all the currents inherent dynamics while also triggering the development of new extrovert socio-spatial activities.

July 12, 2013


by yannis zavoleas


Title in English: Machine and Network as Structural Models in Architecture.

Abstract in English. Machine and Network are presented as references of technological origin­­, which have been appointed to construct the notion of spatiality. Such references represent two structures having opposite nominative qualities. Machine structure may be described as serial, also with predefined function and finite associations among its parts towards a prescribed outcome, whereas it is mainly assessed according to performance. Since enlightenment, machine has been decisively influential as structural model for the conception and the organization of society. Specifically, machine consists of the main structural reference in architecture and urbanism during modernism, so that the units making up a spatial entity may be defined, including the formed relationships among them. On the other hand, network infers to a non linear assembly of its units, in ways that the formed synapses and the desired outcomes may be more flexible, transformable, even provisional. In the scientific framing of theories developed over the past decades attempting to explain the relationships among historical, social and cultural events, also data and phenomena of heterogeneous origin, network structure has often been mobilized so that such elements are defined in response to their mutual interaction and impact alike.

The present study examines the possibility that machine and network, because of their differences, consist of two supplementary structures, virtually setting up a compound model. First, the properties of machine and network are identified as accomplishments of technological origin representing different historical eras, also in view of their interpretive significance for the explanation of the notion of spatiality. Accordingly, the prospect of a machine/network structural model is approached, applicable in the design of architectural space. A comparative assessment of exemplary cases of modernism, from interwar to late modern era leads to the observation that for the spatial adaptation of either machine or network, the formed set of properties better refers to their mutual contribution. Consequently, machine/network model is suitable to describe retrospectively, with an emphasis on contemporary terminology, the directions architecture is taking.

Περίληψη στα Ελληνικά. Η μηχανή και το δίκτυο συνιστούν δύο αντίθετες δομές οργάνωσης, οι οποίες έχουν χρησιμοποιηθεί σε διαφορετικές περιπτώσεις για την απόδοση, σημασιών αναφορικά με την έννοια της χωρικότητας. Ακριβώς, όμως, εξ αιτίας των διαφορών τους, η μηχανή και το δίκτυο μπορούν να αποτελέσουν δύο συμπληρωματικές δομές, ενταγμένες σε ένα σύνθετο πρότυπο. Ένα τέτοιο ενδεχόμενο διερευνάται στην παρούσα έρευνα. Αρχικά εντοπίζονται και αξιολογούνται οι διαφορές και οι αναλογίες μεταξύ μηχανής και δικτύου ως τεχνολογικά επιτεύγματα και ακόλουθα ως προς την προσαρμογή τους στην απόδοση της έννοιας της χωρικότητας. Ανάλογα διερευνώνται οι δυνατότητες συγκρότησης ενός σύνθετου προτύπου για το χώρο που να συνδυάζει τις δύο δομές, με εφαρμογή στον αρχιτεκτονικό σχεδιασμό. Μέσα από σχεδιαστικές προσπάθειες του μοντερνισμού κατά τις περιόδους του μεσοπολέμου και του ύστερου μοντερνισμού πάνω άλλοτε στη μία δομή άλλοτε στην άλλη, αναδεικνύονται τα ιδιαίτερα χαρακτηριστικά και των δύο δομών· ταυτόχρονα, όμως, διαπιστώνεται ότι οι δομές αυτές μεταφράζονται με τρόπους, έτσι ώστε περισσότερο να ικανοποιείται μια πιθανή μεταξύ τους σχέση. Η παρατήρηση αυτή ισχυροποιείται με την εξέταση επιλεγμένων παραδειγμάτων της σύγχρονης αρχιτεκτονικής έρευνας. (Από την παρουσίαση στο οπισθόφυλλο του βιβλίου)

“Πως θα έπρεπε λοιπόν να αρχίζει σήμερα η εκπαίδευση του αρχιτέκτονα; Σε ένα παλιό σχεδιαστήριο με τα σχεδιαστικά εργαλεία αιώνων ή σε ένα φορητό υπολογιστή με ασύρματη επαφή στο διαδίκτυο; Έχουν διαμορφωθεί οι συνθήκες για να αρχίσει η εκπαίδευση αυτή σε φορητό υπολογιστή με ασύρματη επαφή στο διαδίκτυο, χωρίς σχεδιαστήριο, χωρίς μολύβι; Με το ερώτημα αυτό βρέθηκε αντιμέτωπος ο συγγραφέας του βιβλίου που κρατάτε στα χέρια σας όταν κλήθηκε να διδάξει σε πρωτοετείς σπουδαστές αρχιτεκτονικής και είναι πιθανό να “δόθηκε” στην έρευνα που οδήγησε στη συγγραφή του προσπαθώντας να απαντήσει σε ορισμένες πτυχές του. Κινήθηκε στο ενδιάμεσο της μοντέρνας εποχής, που αντιμετώπισε τη μηχανή ως πρότυπο, και μιας μεταγενέστερης εποχής, που έδωσε την πρωτοκαθεδρία στο δίκτυο. Οι εμβαθύνσεις του έχουν περιγράψει τη μεταβολή αυτή αλλά και την προβολή της στο σύγχρονο σχεδιασμό του χώρου, στην εποχή της πληροφορίας. Με αυτό τον τρόπο έχει θέσει θεωρητικά θεμέλια για την κατανόηση και την ερμηνεία των πιο σημαντικών αλλαγών στο χώρο της αρχιτεκτονικής των τελευταίων χρόνων.” (Παναγιώτης Τουρνικιώτης)


May 19, 2013


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.

May 15, 2013


by yannis zavoleas


Επιστημονικό συμπόσιο, 1-2 Ιουνίου 2012

Συλλογικός τόμος

Ζαβολέας Γιάννης (συντονιστής), Ζησιμόπουλος Δημήτρης, Παππάς Βασίλης, Στρουμπάκος Βασίλης, Συμεωνίδου Ιωάννα, “Κατα-χρήσεις του Κώδικα στην Αρχιτεκτονική: Τοπολογικοί Πειραματισμοί μέσω Υπολογιστικών Μεθόδων,” συλλογικός τόμος συνεδρίου Γεωμετρία: από την Επιστήμη στην Εφαρμογή, Τεχνολογικό Εκπαιδευτικό Ίδρυμα Πειραιά, 2012.

Κατέβασε το κείμενο

February 20, 2013


by yannis zavoleas

poster nest_12feb2013_01_compr




Organized by: School of Archtiecture, University of Patras


Yannis Zavoleas (coordinator) – University of Patras

Dimitris Zisimopoulos, Architect

Vassili Pappas – University of Patras

Vasilis Stroumpakos – University of Patras

Ioanna Symeonidou – TU Graz

DURATION: 11-15 February 2013

The objective of this workshop is to further explore the possibilities opened up by the incorporation of computation, especially of scripting in the conception of architectural space. The workshop uses the scripting platform of MEL (Maya Embedded Language), being integrated in Autodesk Maya design software. Key concepts and techniques of parametric design are being developed, as these are also compared to more conventional ones of digital representation.  Among the findings is the observation that architectural education has already embraced the digital medium in the form of a multifaceted challenge, mainly in studio research. The related experiments acknowledge the wide spectrum of approaches taking place somewhere in the borders of architectural education, also in relation to other disciplines. In respect, the presented work may be an addition to the ongoing discourse, further identifying this new field.

previous workshop: 2012 AB-USE, university of Patras and eCAADe Prague