The direct democracy of ancient Greece could be the reference for a contemporary urban model which includes members of all age and social groups, in which stoa as its spatial consequence inspires a new approach to public space.
Big urban gestures express a top-down set of mind and tend to neglect the existing layering of the urban realm. The latter resembles a palimpsest that includes successive materializations of the social economical and political conditions that prevailed from ancient Greece to the modern era. However the current economic and social situation asks for flexible and cost-effective solutions that rely on people’s contribution. The crisis should be dealt with as an opportunity to introduce an additive approach that would lead to a greater benefit out of the minimum intervention. The proposal provides an intense linear space that will awaken hibernating potential for activities to shape the surrounding territory that will be unburdened of the existing restrictions to constitute a field enriched with traces of the city’s memories.
Technology carries along great potential for re-establishing the bond of citizens with the city; by grafting the infrastructure, which is an effective, costly and permanent intervention, the city will be provided with a framework for spontaneous appropriation.
Along with the tramline an infrastructural spine is created for small-scale elements to be plugged-in and serve people’s contemporary daily needs as expressed and modified in terms of locality and weather conditions.
The mild Mediterranean climate expressed in a virtual nine-month summer instilled an innate gregariousness thereby affecting the character of their activities and the way they are spatially manifested. Kitchens, tables, lounge chairs, workstations, bathrooms, ponds, projectors, power sockets and Wi-Fi, water fountains, herb gardens, bike repairing stations, gyms create a habitable environment. A phased construction approach allows the proposal’s basic tenets to adapt to any concurrent social, economic and political changes without interrupting the fluidity of experiencing the urban reality.
The expected appropriation will trigger people’s creativity, stimulate small-scale productions and revive arts and crafts for an alternative lifestyle. It will create the premises for a new practice of democracy, one interwoven with everyday life.
Architects: Alkistis Thomidou, Chryssa Koumantou & George Anagnostakis (Also Known As Architects(www.alsoknownas.gr)), Gianmaria Socci (www.gianmariasocci.com)
Collaborating Architects: Alexandros Syriopoulos, Andrijana Sekulic, Konstantinos Karamplis, Vlassis Katsimpoulas
Urban Economy and Social Sustainability:Salvatore Di Dio
Landscape Architecture: Karolos Hanikian
Engineering: Ioannis G Spinassas, Christos Spanos, Ioannis Lepidas
Mechanical Engineering: Panagiotis Pliakas
Bioclimatic Design: Panagiotis Gkatsopoulos
Sustainable Transport Systems: Irina Tumini
Lighting Design: IFI Group architectural lighting design