Elective at semester(s) 5, 7, 9, ECTS: 3
When architecture deals with the transformation of the groundis destined to rework and elaborate a certain transition: from natural to crafted, from unformed into ordered, from wild to tamed. This transition is not alinearprocess. It follows the twisted lines of a place’s memory and detects the veins of its internal cracks. In these laborious diversions lies the design’spotential. There, the design process starts to take risks, learns how to change the temperature of things and to overturn something that tends to become predictable, tyrannical and lifeless.
The course is addressing the remodeling of outdoor spaces. We focus on sites that are ambiguous, unsettled and fractured, resisting the masterplan’s forced normalization. In such places, the ground has not yet been deactivated and continues to operate as a mythic matrix of meanings. These latent meanings along with traces and material qualities of the space are the objects of the design’s reconstructional endeavour. They must be coordinated into a new narrative, in the form of a new, simultaneously familiar and enigmatic, landscape.
This year's exercise involves a modern ruin. This is an incongruous vestige from the era of commercial prosperity of Volos’ seafront, located at the intersection of the Argonauts and Korai streets. The prolonged massive volume of the shops allows a dual reading and rebuilding perspective: as perforated building system and as an extraordinary urban ground. The abandoned structure will be processed, with cuttings, alterations and landscaping into a hybrid outdoor space that will welcome public uses.