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“Cité de Refuge”

Venice Biennale 2016

Our proposal constitutes  a comment on the concept that signified the architecture of ” International Style”, while still characterizing the work of many so called “star-architects” and which regards the designer – as a doctor who can “heal” social issues by crystallizing his ideas and “ego” in space his ideas and sustain the user simply as a participant amongst these ideas. This concept, of centralized top down planning, also prevails in the single work  of Le Corbusier for vulnerable social groups, the Cite de Refuges. Residents are invisible in the design. The abstract ideas of the architect take precedence. Those who reside there, are patients of social diseases and harbor there for a catharsis / cure through the architecture.

As social gears are again (or still are) in complete turmoil, having been caused, on one end, by the frequently violent mobility of populations and on the other end, by the financial crisis due to which many buildings are empty, we choose to intervene/arbitrate/infiltrate in the tower of Piraeus – an exemplary modernist construction, which nowadays is just unused building/construction stock. Our proposal concerns the reuse of this structure, as a center for the temporary housing of asylum seekers. A typical, low-cost housing unit modeled on the IKEA furniture (flat-pack) is placed within the existing structure of the tower to provide temporary shelter. In reference to the Cite de Refuges, units are chromatically organized per floor, thereby achieving a consonant aesthetic.

  • Type:
    Design Research, Exhibition
  • Size/Scale:
    >500m
  • Location:
    Athens, Greece
  • Status:
    Proposal
  • Team:
    Evangelos Pantazis, Iason Pantazis, Dionysis Dikefalos, Vasso Farmaki

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