(ad)dressing the greek salad – overwriting the unused

Maddalena Gioseffi
Laurie Malenfant
Professur
Nachhaltige Entwicklung von Stadt und Land
Projektarbeit

Athens is a city living over the centuries, where topological and spatial characteristics of the ancient city can be found in the urban fabric today. The project area Kerameikos – Metaxourgio is a field of investigation of urban processes, a mixture of social groups, building typologies and economic activities. The studio’s subject was to analyse factors contributing to the area’s situation and extract the potential of housing, tourism and shared economies. Also, to investigate the existing building stock, the derelicts and the public space and evaluate the drivers of change for the area. In other words, to propose a sustainable urban regeneration in an area which is a social melting pot, taking into consideration the assets of the past, and how to transform them into a dynamic, productive and liveable quarter for the future.

Starting from Metaxourgeio‘s high concentration of empty buildings and unused open spaces, we suggest an intervention that deals with the lack of affordable housing. Three general strategies were developed for the neighborhood in order to solve the housing shortage. These base on the different building typologies and their related issues. For the implementation of the general strategies we concentrate on a specific area, considering it pivotal for the neighborhood: the so-called ‚strip’ in the middle of a strongly segregated neighborhood: this area can work as threshold for Metaxourgeio, becoming a hotspot for the community. It hosts already important public buildings and public open spaces. Nevertheless, the implementation of the generic strategies itself causes a small-scale impact.

In order to strengthen the community, to bring people from Metaxourgeio together and also attract people from the outside, we need catalysts that provoke to this bigger impact. The first catalyst is a food market, the second a public library. Both the buildings are placed on crucial spots inside the strip: the one is hosted in an empty abandoned concrete structure facing the main square, the other is a new construction replacing an abandoned hospital next to the important axis of Piraeus street. Focusing on the open space, its development on the strip can empower the weak connection between the northern areas of Athens to its historical centre. Thus, we design four areas which aim to work complementary offering different open-space qualities to Metaxourgeio and its surroundings.

Perspective of Metaxourgeio’ central square
Munich 2020. Maddalena Gioseffi, Laurie Malenfant and Ilona Van Mol.
Analysis of Metaxourgeio and surroundings
Munich 2020. Maddalena Gioseffi, Laurie Malenfant and Ilona Van Mol.
Three strategies based on building condition and typology
Munich 2020. Maddalena Gioseffi, Laurie Malenfant and Ilona Van Mol.
Intervention area and building functions
Munich 2020. Maddalena Gioseffi, Laurie Malenfant and Ilona Van Mol.
Axonometry of food market square
Munich 2020. Maddalena Gioseffi, Laurie Malenfant and Ilona Van Mol.
Models of the intervention area
Munich 2020. Maddalena Gioseffi, Laurie Malenfant and Ilona Van Mol.