The Greek participation for the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia focuses on the particular dynamic of Athens during a period of economic meltdown.
Contemporary Athens is a city of strong contradictions: It is a city whose particular identity was shaped during post-World-War-II reconstruction. A city which has at its disposal an exceptionally talented cadre of young architects, international in orientation, well educated and with a wealth of professional experience. It is, however, the city that was most stricken by the current economic crisis. Currently the Athenian urban space is decomposing and there are increasingly frequent and greater disruptions of the social web. The younger generation of architects benefited from the positive aspects of globalisation and today has come face-to-face with the harsh aspect of the global financial crisis, a plummeting standard of living and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design.
These contradictions are shaping a particular dynamic in the city. Conditions are being created in Athens to expand the links between architecture and the city, both during the economic downturn, but also after it has passed; furthermore conditions are being created to bring to the forefront new ways of viewing the role of architecture, removed from the standards of well-being of the previous decade.
The Greek participation presents this idiosyncratic Athenian urbanism within two themes:
The first theme concerns local urban tradition and, specifically, the evolution of the Athenian apartment building or polykatoikia from 1950 to the present day, examining the relationships between anonymous and eponymous architecture and the process of producing an urban landscape through repetition of a basic unit.
The second theme concerns the fragmentation of and disputes over Athenian public space, focusing on counterbalancing and / or complementary urban forces. Urban decay is presented alongside attempts being made to reutilise central areas; while urban renewal programmes are aided by alternative networks and activist initiatives.
The creative force of contemporary Athens is highlighted by an exhibition of works by architects and creative groups in the city. The exhibition focuses on eight narratives about Athens, fleshing out new design strategies and meditating on the developments taking place in the city.
A concurrent presentation of the design practice of creative groups in Athens, alongside the local urban traditions and the transformations of public space aims to chart the new common ground being shaped in Athens by this crisis. The aim of the exhibition is to highlight the positive forces being shaped in this crucial present moment and to foreshadow a better future for the city and its architecture.
Architects Panos Dragonas and Anna Skiada are Commissioners / Curators of the Greek participation.
Participating architects: Andreas Angelidakis, ANTONAS Office (Aristide Antonas, Katerina Koutsogianni), Aesopos Architecture, AREA Architecture Research Athens (Styliani Daouti, Giorgos Mitroulias, Michaeljohn Raftopoulos), buerger katsota architects (Stephan Buerger, Demetra Katsota), decaARCHITECTURE (Alexandros Vaitsos, Carlos Loperena, Eleni Zabeli), draftworks* (Christiana Ioannou, Christos Papastergiou), Point Supreme Architects (Konstantinos Pantazis, Marianna Rentzou).
On display will be many proposals for the design of apartment blocks and interventions in public spaces and city buildings, as well as the KM Properties plan to redevelop Kerameikos and Metaxourgeio. Housing projects by architects: D. & S. Antonakakis, T. Argyropoulos & C. Decavallas, Atelier Bow Wow, I. Bertaki / C. Loukopoulou / C. Paniyiris, BIG, Boyd Cody Architects, Divercity (N. Travasaros, D. Karampelia, D. Travasaros, C. Achtypi, C. Dimitroukas), doxiadis+ (T. Doxiadis, I. Vonderthann), P. Dragonas & V. Christopoulou, D. Fatouros, FORA (João Fagulha, Raquel Oliveira and João Ruivo), C. Gkikas & E. Filtsou, ISV Architects (B. Ioannou, T. Sotiropoulos, A. van Gilder), Klab Architecture -Konstantinos Lambrinopoulos, K. Krokos, ksestudio (S. Krimizi, K. Kyriakou), N. Ktenas, Μ. Nikoloutsou & M. Filippidis, E. Scroumbelos, Solid Objectives -Idenburg Liu (Florian Idenburg, Ioannis Kandyliaris, Ilias Papageorgiou), D. Sotovikis / A. Sotovikis / C. Batziou, tense architecture network (T. Andrianopoulos, C. Mavros, T. Bampanelos), N. Valsamakis, I. Vikelas, Τ. Ch. Zenetos.
Also on display will be citizen initiatives to regain public space, including the self-managed park at Navarinou Street and the group local/athens.
Also participating in the exhibition will be architects/photographers Charalambos Louizidis & Aikaterini Niki Glinou, Yiorgis Yerolymbos; photographer Dimitris Michalakis; film director/visual artist Angelos Frantzis; architect/street artist b.
The exhibition is designed by architects Panos Dragonas, Anna Skiada, Varvara Christopoulou, Maria Bourdi and Maria Chassioti.
The exhibition is jointly funded by Greece and the European Union.
Archisearch - Εικόνα 13: Πάνος Δραγώνας, Άννα Σκιαδά, Βαρβάρα Χριστοπούλου, Μαρία Μπούρδη, Μαρία Χασιώτη, Σχέδιο εγκατάστασης στο ελληνικό περίπτερο.ΕΙΚΟΝΑ 13: ΠΑΝΟΣ ΔΡΑΓΩΝΑΣ, ΑΝΝΑ ΣΚΙΑΔΑ, ΒΑΡΒΑΡΑ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΠΟΥΛΟΥ, ΜΑΡΙΑ ΜΠΟΥΡΔΗ, ΜΑΡΙΑ ΧΑΣΙΩΤΗ, ΣΧΕΔΙΟ ΕΓΚΑΤΑΣΤΑΣΗΣ ΣΤΟ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟ ΠΕΡΙΠΤΕΡΟ.
Archisearch - Εικόνα 12: Άγγελος Φραντζής, Got To Be Real 1 + 2.   ΕΙΚΟΝΑ 12: ΑΓΓΕΛΟΣ ΦΡΑΝΤΖΗΣ, GOT TO BE REAL 1 + 2.
Archisearch - Εικόνα 11: Χαράλαμπος Λουιζίδης, Αικατερίνη Νίκη Γληνού, Athens ArchiveΕΙΚΟΝΑ 11: ΧΑΡΑΛΑΜΠΟΣ ΛΟΥΙΖΙΔΗΣ, ΑΙΚΑΤΕΡΙΝΗ ΝΙΚΗ ΓΛΗΝΟΥ, ATHENS ARCHIVE
Archisearch - Εικόνα 10: Γιώργης Γερόλυμπος, Athens SpreadΕΙΚΟΝΑ 10: ΓΙΩΡΓΗΣ ΓΕΡΟΛΥΜΠΟΣ, ATHENS SPREAD
Archisearch - Εικόνα 9: b., Αθήνα, 2010.   ΕΙΚΟΝΑ 9: B., ΑΘΗΝΑ, 2010.
Archisearch - Εικόνα 8: Point Supreme Architects, Προτάσεις για την Αθήνα. ΕΙΚΟΝΑ 8: POINT SUPREME ARCHITECTS, ΠΡΟΤΑΣΕΙΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΘΗΝΑ.
Archisearch - Εικόνα 7: draftworks*, Athens Northwest PassageΕΙΚΟΝΑ 7: DRAFTWORKS*, ATHENS NORTHWEST PASSAGE
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