Hellenic Studies Announcements, March 2009
<Posted on 02/27/2009 09:29>
Sponsored by the Program in Hellenic Studies and the Program in Urban Studies
Yannis Aesopos (University of Patras; Visiting Fellow, Program in Hellenic Studies)
Respondent: M. Christine Boyer (School of Architecture)
Scheide Caldwell House, Room 103
Up until the preparation period for the 2004 Olympic Games, Athens followed a self-reproductive expansion based on the repetition of the urban unit of the "polykatoikia" (the multi-residence). The Olympics offered a rupture in the slow evolution of Athens in the form of a jump in scale from the architectural to the urban: from the scale of the single polykatoikia to that of a square, a park, a waterfront, the city itself. The preparation for the Olympic Games produced effects that transformed the constituent conditions of the Greek city as they had been perceived up until then, in a number of ways: [i] Networks as Ruptures: The new circulation lines produced for the Games constitute the only large-scale man-made ruptures within the continuous Athenian urban landscape; [ii] New Geography: The circulation networks formulate a new time-based geography that joins points of the city that used to be separate; [iii] Revealed Topography: The new circulation infrastructure "reveals" previously neglected, isolated or "hidden" areas and offers new panoramic views of the Athenian landscape; [iv] Architectural and Urban Landmarks: For the first time in the post-War period, Olympic buildings gave architecture the opportunity to become representational, to produce a symbol, a landmark.
Yannis Aesopos is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the Department of Architecture of the University of Patras. He co-curated/co-edited the exhibition/book Landscapes of Modernization: Greek Architecture 1960s and 1990s (Rotterdam, 1999/Athens, 1999; in Greek, Athens 2002) and co-edited The Contemporary (Greek) City (Athens, 2001) and Landscapes of the Intimate (Athens, 1996). Since 1995 he is Principal of Aesopos Architecture in Athens. His work has been exhibited in Athens-Scape (London, 2003), New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Japan (Tokyo, 2002), at the 7th Architecture Biennale (Venice, 2000) and published in Top Young European Architects (Barcelona, 2005) and The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture (London, 2004). He is a founding member of www.athens9.net a think tank for the production of design proposals for contemporary Athens. His research focuses on the post-War mutations of the Greek city and Athens in particular. [last updated 2009]