The project was instigated by the post-Olympic diffusion of Athens into the Mesogeia plane based on the new circulation networks (Attiki Odos highway, Proastiakos light rail and Metro) as well as the telecommunication technologies. Diffusion into the Mesogeia allows for new freedom: greater heights and improbable programmatic combinations. The few tall buildings in Athens were always “time landmarks” documenting, at each particular time, the borders of the city’s central urban conglomeration. The “Ephemeral Borders” are thin and tall multi-story buildings placed along the Attiki Odos that can be seen as records of the transformable borders of post-Olympic Athens on its way to the sea. When, at a later stage, the urban fabric will expand further it will incorporate them. The Ephemeral Borders attempt to investigate the strange, however challenging, coexistence between housing and consumption searching for new –maybe uncanny- architectural relationships between use and space. How is it to go home through a crowded Cineplex lobby? The Ephemeral Borders also investigate the relationship between a tall building and the highway as well as that with the open semi-rural landscape. The inhabitants of the Ephemeral Borders are characterized by increased mobility and are looking for spaces of ephemeral living with easy access to the networks and the spaces of consumption. Their limited time for the development of personal relationships is counterbalanced by the presence of “spaces of contact” and numerous spaces of consumption: shopping together we get to know each other better… This way, ephemeral, voluntary communities are created based on the fake collectivity of participation in the consumerist activity. Vertical circulation in the towers is realized using transparent elevators that contribute to visual collectivity. However, when, on their way to higher levels, the elevators penetrate the different apartments, their envelope becomes translucent allowing for vague visual contact between the inhabitants and the unknown passers-by. While moving, the towers’ co-tenants become unique, fleeting, non recognizable presences that offer familiarity (?) and make up a blurry community, in the same way that the mediated TV images that flood our screens do, joining us day and night.
[The proposal was realized as part of the “Athens Update” project of the www.athens9.net network]
Architect: Yannis Aesopos
_Collaborating architect: Nora Karastergiou _