Crisis: Environmental / Financial
Terrain: Dense Urban Scale
Program: Multi-use / Habitation / Urban Greenspace
“Transformer” located in Athens, Greece, responds to two problems: the rapid decay of concrete and the air/ noise pollution that degrades the environment and citizens’ quality of life. The project aims to recycle the decaying concrete structures of Athens. Combining this material with new technologies will create new spaces, circulation flows, and activities in the area with a porous, unique design. Unlike most contemporary cities, the project does not follow the existing structural grid; instead, it creates new layers through which the city can be read and explored. Higher density minimizes buildings’ footprint. High priority is given to the insertion of public space, greenery and light qualities that are often absent in the existing city condition. Like a living organism, the project will grow and expand to nearby neighborhoods over time. This network will aid the city with its filtration system; essentially, the new project lives off the existing city’s waste. It passes through buildings and areas in a worm-like movement in order to create new spaces, while simultaneously reinforcing the existing city fabric. The human-made concrete jungle is transformed into a less chaotic environment that emphasizes the user and the experiential quality of people interacting with one another and with the city. The area will become unique in character as new open areas and uses appear. The enjoyment of living in the city of this proposal is the pleasure of experiencing new conditions in which the city is visibly evolving and “cleaning itself”. Adapted “rubbish” now surrounds the city and inspires commitment to an environmentally friendly way of living, with waste recycled on-site. Contemporary cities need to address their own waste crisis; “Transformer” provides one solution for the issues they face. The proposal creates a flow of space and time, provoking passive and active pleasure, and challenging the limits of construction and traditional paradigms of organizing space at the human and urban scale.
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