2023 Cat A Oikos of the Pyrocene
In the past 50 years, severe wildfires have devastated the landscape of Mount Ymittos, posing a threat to the municipalities of Athens that form its boundary. The flames consume its vegetation as well as change the chemistry of its rocky terrain. Soil erosion, debris and floods impact the city due to its scarred condition.
However, in an increasingly warming world, fire should be seen as an ally instead of an enemy.
Contemporary academia challenges our understanding of fire-prone habitats and turns to indigenous fire regimes to draw a new paradigm of coexistence. This study focuses on shaping a pyro-symbiotic future for Central Ymittos by creating a landscape mosaic that is cultivated by fire rotationally, enhancing the habitat’s biodiversity as it allows vegetation to flourish and reproduce.
The existing mountainous route that connects the South municipalities is used as an axis where strategic design choices develop around. Fireproofing the city’s boundary is achieved by hardscaped surfaces with irrigated vegetation, according to international standards. The rich geology of underlying bedrock is used for the creation of materials that fill the space with their texture and color.
Ymittos’ landscape penetrates the public realm, adapting to the needs of surrounding land use to invite people to an everyday escape, and to address the connection between Mount and city. Stewardship of the land is given to local social groups that provide educational and environmental services, in order to develop a new paradigm of forestry maintenance.