Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is there architecture(uncolorful) future in Greece?

The Benaki museum

The 3rd prize.


The 1st prize of the competition...
Katza teleported in Metaksourgeio


I wanted to write about this since a lot of time ago but the article I read yesterday at Vimagazino reminded me to do it right away. The architectural competition for a proposal of a block of residencies in the recently "trendy" area of Athens called Metaksourgeio. The majority of the proposals for this really interesting spot was deja-vu. Most of the projects lack of orginality and a different perception of the existing condition. It is very clear (I followed all the progress of this competition) that the majority of the architects had in mind how to please the constructing company and make the building as much commercial as it gets...without having ANY experimental approach, ANY new idea to propose in a city that the only buliding can be presented as a sample of greek contemporary architecture is the Benaki Museum(imagine!!!). I just mention the first prize and the one that will be built. The building of Katerina Tsigarida is a building to remind us of the obnoxious and ugly colourful office buildings that the greek constructing companies are doing the last 5 years in new areas such as Kantza and or on the highway to Lamia. Fortunately and strangely the 3rd prize will be built (I. Papadopoulos- G Daskalaki- Tasos Biris). The 3rd proposal is not the "experimental" approach but is well-done and serves fully it's commercial purposes (aligned with the hidden but dominating concept of the competition). It is a copy and a follower of the trendy modernist comeback with more pleasant colors than the 1st prize and some ideas that are ok and fully executable. It should have been better as a school project. To be continued....

10 comments:

Daphne said...

I read about the project winners in LiFo 2 weeks ago, I was curious to see how the GEK competition would turn out because I really like the area etc. But I must say that even the 3rd prize, doesn't really say much...kind of disappointing.

Angelo Plessas said...

I don't consider the 3rd good architecture but at least is better than the 1st. The whole competition is disappointing and proves one more time how insecure architects are.

kostis said...

benaki is having an exhibition tomorrow very good timing for this post.

Angelo Plessas said...

I know about the exhibition tomorrow this is why I wrote "to be continued"

Anonymous said...

yes because architects want to make money and not reputation. It is the cliche modern greek standard xxxx

Angelo Plessas said...

There are some 2-3 architects in this competition that are not working on greek standards.

kostika said...

i think that some of the problems of this competition lie on bad or uninteresting proposals, but overall I found the brief and legislation for building in this area very wrong in the first place. To me the construction company is extremely pretentious and seems to have alterior motives in setting up this competition. Looking for prestige in completely the wrong way, has set up a cheap competition (prizewise), demanding a very thorough material as submission (who knows why?) in a relatively short time.

Angelo Plessas said...

eleni you are right. It is well-known how constructing companies work but this time they have free consulting with this publicity around.

kostika said...

i would like to add a few comments, after the opening of the exhibition of the proposals yesterday at Benaki Museum. The majority of the proposals was totally uninspiring. There were few exceptions!! I admit the subject was very difficult. I think that the 3rd prize that will be built is worst than the 3rd prize that is'nt going to be built. However I heard by a member of the jury that the choice was made based on a public vote of preference by a crowd of people that is meant to be the target group of potential buyers for the apartments, consisting of artists, actors, people involved in the arts in general (amazing!!!)

Angelo Plessas said...

Who are these actors and people involved with arts who make a jury for this kind of competition? I will be very curious to find out.....BAD TASTE RULES!!!