Exoticism and modern Greek architecture
Kostas Tsiambaos | In the 1930s a rhetorical scheme that linked modern Greek architecture to the vernacular architecture of Greece was established. The Greek vernacular architecture of the Aegean -with its abstract, white-plastered forms- provided an exotic example that looked “modern”, long before modernism. However, a slow and gradual shift took place since then. In the 2000s it was no longer the Greek exotic vernacular that looked modern, but modern Greek architecture that looked “exotic”. In particular, the Athenian apartment building (the polykatoikia) emerged worldwide as a new paradigm of an alternative, peripheral, strange, and exotic modernism
The ideological roots of raw concrete in Greek architecture, 1960–1980
Panayotis Tsakopoulos | In Greece, raw concrete and modernism were virtually inseparable during nineteenseventies and eighties --when advocating the latter invariably meant adopting the former. I have opted to consider this advocacy in terms of four ideological arguments: the ethical argument privileges the discourse of the Modernist movement concerning the structural “truth” and “sincerity”; in the social argument, rhetoric about the use of locally available materials and accessible technology is combined with a leftist political discourse about the city; the technological argument focuses on the qualities of concrete that allowed it to respond to the construction requirements of the new era; finally, materiality or the aesthetic argument is expressed mainly as an exploration of the material’s plastic qualities.
Private Housing in Postwar Athens
Panayotis Tournikiotis | The development of the apartment buildings from the mid-1950s to the 1970s was impressive in numbers and shaped the new residential environment of Athens. On the one hand, these buildings were representing modernity of construction, architectural form and way of life. On the other hand, they were the result of a collaborative private initiative, which responded to the absence of a social housing program. The end result was a rather common block of flats, which covered the high demand for housing by offering small property while gradually absorbing the illegal building without creating slums, neither new “modern” nor inhospitable cities.
Christos Papoulias’ architecture:
Three architectural projects, three different ways connecting with earth.
Maria Vidali | The article focuses on 3 projects of Christos Papoulias. In these three architectural projects, Papoulias creates houses that are connected in three different ways to the earth. Clearly, for Papoulias both architectural language and dwelling have an ethical function connected with landscape and the world. His work makes it obvious that we cannot understand and interpret the language of architecture in the laboratory and that architectural language must grow out of the connection between praxis/design and theory. Papoulias’ projects manifest a deep understanding and interpretation of both history and the modern world connected to the human need for communication through living space.
Hilton in contemporary Athens
Burcu Tüm | Athens Hilton is still regarded as one of the eight contemporary landmarks of the city. Athens Hilton, which also gives its name to a part of the neighborhood where it was constructed, is still important for the city. By the urbanites, the Athens Hilton is considered as a monument of Athens. The Hilton hotel chain, which was used as a tool of struggle against communism during the Cold War era, aims to realize a cultural colonisation through urban culture. Istanbul Hilton and Athens Hilton, whose effects on city culture and social life were very significant and similar in that period were made to live in the American luxury. However, unlike Hilton Athens, which still has this effect today, Istanbul Hilton no longer has such a strong influence on urban memory within the framework of neoliberal urban policies.
Mental geographies of Pikionis
Seda Kurt Şengün | A century ago, while the nature of Athens was not yet affected by density of population and industrial transformations, the Athenian architect Dimitris Pikionis predicted that a modernism independent of geography might adversely affect the daily life of the land which Athenians live on. Pikionis transmitted his sensitivity to geography and culture to his students while teaching at university and established spiritual and rational connections with topography in his work. His legacy is not only his projects, texts and researches; Dimitris Pikionis’ insistence on cultural and natural unity, which can be understood by researching the essence of his work and his ecological attitude to topography, has left today’s society a unique approach in both humanist and architectural sense.