Greece Architecture 2

Greece Architecture

In the Hellenic context, the processes of globalization and the world competition between cities to attract goods, capital and design innovation coincided with two world events at the antipodes, which conditioned the path of Greek architecture in the decade 2004-14. On the one hand, the 2004 Athens Olympics, the years of the euphoria of the euro, which represented a leap in quality with architectures and infrastructures created for the occasion, attributable to some orientations: glocalist-sustainable, a summary of thinking globally and act locally with bioclimatic projects with low energy consumption, such as the Olympic Center in Galatsi and the Central Station (2004) in Athens by Alexandros Tombazis; organic and high-tech, which pursues the goal of the total work of art, inspired by nature and history: the Athenian works of Santiago Calatrava, the OAKA Olympic Athletic Center, with the Agora and the wall of nations and the pedestrian bridge by Katexaki (2004), and topological-geometric, in harmony with the place and the landscape, such as, for example, the National Insurance Company Ethniki (2006) in Athens by Mario Botta, Irena Sakellaridou and Morfo Papanikolaou.

At the antipodes, the years of the crisis of values ​​and austerity, which culminated with the arrival of the troika in 2010, represented the degradation of the landscape. Athens has become a global city in the most undesirable way, except for a few episodes of excellence: synthesis of the content-context-concept triad, the new Acropolis Museum (2009) in Athens by Bernard Tschumi and Michael Photiadis; the regeneration of the Metaxourgeion district – former silk factory – north of Athens, the residential and commercial complex (2009) by Georgia Daskalaki, Yiannis Papadopoulos with the advice of Tassos Biris and the Onassis Cultural Center (2010) in Athens by French Architecture -Study, attempts to re – inhabit the city; the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center near Faliron Bay in Kallithea by Renzo Piano, designed in 2008 and nearing completion, to mend the relationship between the city and the sea in a sustainable way.

In the presence of a pragmatism in which specialization prevails, formalist minimalism and deideologized realism, anomie and fragmentation constitute the basso continuo of Greek architecture in this decade. Emblematic is the case of Athens defaced by the poly-katoikìes (“small buildings”), the typical Greek residential building, a typological phenomenon unique in Europe, based solely on private initiative and similar to Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino system.

Some fragments of ‘Mediterraneanness’ constitute the exception: in Crete, the Faculty of Philosophy (2005) and the Casa Morison (2009) in Sternes (Chania) by Dimitris and Suzana Antonakakis, a renewed synthesis of the relationship between landscape and man, in continuity with the ‘path’ of Dimitris Pikionis and the ‘plot’ of Aris Kostantinidis together with the evolution of James Speyer, pupil of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Ilida Amaliada in the Peloponnese (2004) by Tassos and Dimitris Biris; the Grypareion (2007) in Mykonos by Nikos Skoutelis & Flavio Zanon; three houses in Samarina, Macedonia (2007) by Yiannis Koukis. While, the ‘high notes’ of the archistars and the works, often out of scale, destined for tourism and shopping centers, far from an architecture of roots for identity and ‘responsibility’, have irreversibly undermined the myth of the Greek landscape, which in turn is intimately linked to complex mythologies of the ‘Mediterranean’.

Greece Architecture 2

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