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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.

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