2022 Cat A - False Ruin(s)-ism
The project is the result of our A’ Prize, participation to the national public architecture competition in Alexandros, Lefkada regarding the urban furnishing and signage in its very specific landscape, both excessively natural and historical. The competition was supported by the local cultural association ‘’Figos’’, the entity Cities In Balance, and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. Hence, the procedure was finalized engaging a social parameter, asking from inhabitants to vote and express their opinion on the result. Seeking to recognize landscape by its three present qualities natural, historical, and social, the intervention is based on a critique over the theorization of all three of them. Through that scope the manifesto is the design tool needed to define a methodological framework towards a symbiosis landscape which embraces nature, memory, heritage protocols, and social engagement.
Investigating the first data and information found, we came across a possible root of the name “Alexandros”. There is a connection between the name’s origin and that of bishop’s Alexandros. He was one of the three Holy Fathers who consecrated in the hermitage of the region (Hermitage of the Holy Fathers). Etymologically and without any necessary association with a religion or doctrine, an ascetic is said to be one who practices/exert himself. In asceticism as a concept the self is at the center of human activity. The philosophical outgrowth of the study of the self through the attribution of a particular form ars vivendi. The process/attempt to keep the characteristics of the settlements unchanged reveals conditions beyond those of architectural, environmental and landscape conservation and restoration. The elements we propose appear as architectural ruins of future processes of isolation and are distanced (in nature and not in position) from the monuments of the settlement without affecting them. This composition process leads us inevitably to the next two acts of the proposed project. First, the inclusion of man in the composition, not only as a specification but as an integral part of it. Human as a subject investigates space, assembles it, places his body in a kinesthetic whole which participates in our spatial intention. He crosses information thresholds, walks over them, bends, stoops, rises, the information appears at various heights without depending on the height of his personal reading. In addition, in case the user approaches the settlement via vehicle the signage perceives his speed, the difference in perspective, his minimum perception time and as a fence reflects the hum of the vehicle differently, and the signage becomes sound. The second act is completed through the implicit demand for social events in the public space of the settlement. The purpose of the proposed forms is to contribute to the social events of the settlement and to list a number of other possible and mutable ones. Our aim is to create places that are addressed to human activity, encourage social interaction and promote the development of collective memory. Through this process where man is an actor and an affected being, not just a spectator but a creative agent, socially and individually, human participation and existence acts as the custodian of the landscape, history and physiognomy of the area. Finally, memory in the present proposal is outlined through its traces. It interacts with the settlement as a monument, as a set of social events, as a legal entity through protocols, aiming at the emergence of memory as a mental and material construction that runs through the past, present and future.
Download the competition entry