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Athens, Greece

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research

2008

John Karahalios

Point Supreme Architects

Myrto Kiourti

Kostas Tsiambaos

Postcards of modern Athens

Alternative stamps

Poster of the new campaign of Greek Tourism Organization applied in various cities

Shift of focus:

from classical to modern Athens

LEGITIMIZATION OF THE UNDERVALUED

The contemporary Greek city expands towards all directions materializing itself through the endless repetition of polykatoikias,  in essence the realization of the domino house. Strict and precise urban planning regulations together with the urgent need for profit and the small scale of investment guarantee the homogeneity of the whole and the lack of exceptions to the rule.

The generic model of the polykatoikia has proven to be flexible enough  to adjust to any condition possible and to effortlessly exclude from  the discourse any possible architectural rival. If everything built is  polykatoikias, any other construction possible remains in the realm of
the un-built.

The contemporary Greek city's form is no longer theorized or represented; what remains recognizable and identifies one place form another is the historical and topographical elements that the cities  were attached to in the first place; the contemporary Greek city is still represented and identified by what was already there.

Our goal is to legitimize the underestimated, the polykatoikia; we will reveal its hidden potential, its unacknowledged capacity for  further problem-solving in the scale of the collective. We will extract its iconicity and explore its limits. We will use it as a tool  to reach and bring in the city the possibility of the Other, the  un-built, under the disguise of the polykatoikia.

The profit will be twofold; the polykatoikia will be elevated to a  contemporary icon, a low architecture turned high; and the city will  allow the impossible turn possible, it will embrace the un-built and  let it take place without even noticing.

E by Eleftherotipia

issue 908

September 7, 2008

p.98