James Potter

A City of Routes | Athens, Greece| Unit 21 | 2019

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Heterotopia / he-ta-ra-ta-pia / – Spaces that have more layers of meaning or relationships in other places than immediately meets the eye.
Athens is renowned and overwhelmed with ancient architecture, a city or ruins, relying on the fortune of its history, yet it ignores and forgets the present and future remains. What is the identity and questionable representation of Athens? With this in mind I believe Athens is a heterotopic, surrounded by hidden and unrepresented interactions, the project reinforces a new methodology and focuses on routes, arguing the city as a series of labyrinth networks.
Identifying the transition of physical interaction and 2D movements/directions through streets, parkways and abandoned premises to create three-dimensional representations, these memories make up a scripted algorithm and translation of Athens everyday interpretations. These follow a series of rules, commands and boundaries to distinguish the outcome, the architectural adaptation adopts a scheme where drawings become irrelevant, coding replaces the lines and time becomes the collections.
The programme is an archive, exhibiting and collecting memories and capsules of the residents’ representation of Athens, yet these objects and physical forms do not decide on the creativity of the building, differently the building ultimately decides on the positioning whilst exhibiting the foundation of archival routes. The relationship of the city is distinguishable, materiality and texture are sampled to reflect key moments along routes, meaning the correlation between rich and poor becomes a necessity.
Scale is experimented from the detailing of an intricate door handle and wall panel joinery to the larger formation of a interactive facade. The project ignores precedented honours and celebrates the forgotten identity and grounding away from the Acropolis. This becomes a process which can charge architecture, an inventive body of research which deploys a new representation of design.
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