ETH Zurich fieldtrip to Athens March 27 2014

Gruppenbild mit Tempel © Christoph Gantenbein

Gruppenbild mit Tempel © Christoph Gantenbein

Big Olive hosted students and faculty from ETH Zurich from Sunday, March 16, through Saturday, March 22. The trip was organized by professors Emmanuel Christ & Christoph Gantenbein who visited Athens along with a team of collaborators and tutors as a part of their ongoing research on urban typologies. Athens and the typology of the polykatoikia (1) apartment building will be included in the third volume of a series of books compiling typical examples of “essentially anonymous’ metropolitan architecture.

The participants attended a variety of lectures, workshops, and discussions. They also participated in a design charrette geared towards building typology and the importance of local urban architecture. This was a wonderful opportunity for us in Big Olive to plan architectural walks and show off Athens’ rich and diverse architectural heritage. The walks provided were encompassing a wide variety of structures and sites as diverse as Greek temples, grand neoclassical houses, interwar and contemporary polykatoikias, industrial complexes, suburban villas and vernacular ottoman houses.

We are looking forward to the resulting book, where examples of polykatoikias will be compiled in an inventory (along with essential typologies of other metropolitan capitals), contributing to both an international debate and the local understanding of the man-made landscape that is Athens today.

(1) The term polykatoikia is a composite word, from poly, translated as multi, and the noun katoikia, dwelling. In Greek, polykatoikia stands for the multi-storey apartment building, eventually becoming a term that describes almost every housing building except for suburban single-family villas.

Speaking with Atelier 66 architects Suzanna and Dimitris Antonakakis at their apartment.

Speaking with Atelier 66 architects Suzanna and Dimitris Antonakakis at their apartment.

Another highlight of the fieldtrip was the visit to the relics of Ancient Athens. Here our accredited tour guide Nikos Lanser giving a tour at the New Acropolis Museum.

Another highlight of the field trip was the visit to the relics of Ancient Athens. Here our licensed tour guide Nikos Lanser giving a tour at the New Acropolis Museum.

While exploring the refugee neighborhood of Neos Kosmos the students visited the social housing project for the refugees of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, the Armenian Catholic chapel and the al Salam Mosque.

While exploring the refugee neighborhood of Neos Kosmos the students visited the social housing project for the refugees of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922, the Armenian Catholic church and the al Salam Mosque.

ETH students tour the Angelopoulos residence by Konstantinos Dekavallas on Aegina Island.

ETH students tour the Angelopoulos residence by Konstantinos Dekavallas on Aegina Island.

Text: Nikos Magouliotis & Nicolas Nicolaides
Photos: Yannis Zaras

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