Freeboards of an Urban Archipelago_Intervening on the Athenian terrace
Vlachoulis Konstantinos, Makridis Alexandros, Pappas Serafeim
If we compare the interior part of the city as a the seabed, and flow of everyday life as the sea, which draws you away like a stream-wave and constantly moving you wherever its flow goes, then the roofs are the freeboards of an urban archipelago, that pop up over the city level, in which you can catch them and escape for a while.
The meaning of freeboards can be described, as the selective activation of some terraces, within the dense urban fabric, through the multiple typologies proposed as an initial impulse for the occupation of this new territory of this much needed air, defined by the ridge, and therefore the occupation of the Attic Basin.
Typologies are placed in rooftop chambers that meet specific requirements, following a specific strategy before we characterize them as freeboards. Such an intention cannot be applied at the narrow margins of a local area, because urban regions such as the one of Athens show similar characteristics and could therefore support a common, transportable, project.
Finally, cannot be determined with accuracy on how the city will embrace the freeboards, as we are talking about a completely unknown action, followed by an equally unknown reaction. In general, the character of the project focuses on the intent and the approach of the top side, rather than on its unitary solution. For this reason it leaves open pathways, to the majority of its parts, to every citizen-walker, supporter-dissident, spectator-voyeur.
Who influences you graphically?
I believe that most of the times we begin with the base of a drawing, its main elements, which is the structure and the function. As a result is impossible not to get influenced at first from architects and stuck with them. Persistence like these don’t let us even find and describe the main influential factor which obvious exists. From the russian constructivism and Iakov Chernikhov till Bauhaus and Mies van der Rohe with Carlo Scarpa, Peter Salter, Paolo Soleri, studios like Superstudio, OMA, Archizoom and of course magazines like Japan Interior design are our base of research and study about graphic presentation.
What is your take on the photomontage?
With a photo montage usually we lost a part of reality but we use them to add extra fixtures. Our idea is to involve/import the human factor in a free way and at the same time clear far away from rigor and accuracy of the scale. On this way every drawing becomes more friendly and understandable and in the end more accurate but from a different point of view.
What defined the selection of images you choose to reveal the project through?
When you have a mesh of images about a project and you have to choose a few, first you act like someone who doesn’t have a clue about the whole story. So you choose images which are attractive/interesting even if are colorful or too much black, strange or common, atmospheric and enigmatic. Then you act like a part of the team, so it’s allowed to you to select 2-3 important images and add them to conclude the story. The third part of the selection process converts to a fool who change again again the selection (not recommended).
What is your take on colour?
In general color add “l’ anima” of a project which is another unique characteristic. Even more the whole presentation graphically should gives you in the end the feeling of a color palette related to the concept. When the palette has a wide range of colors then it’s much difficult to link all the parts except from the fact that we are talking about a full colorful presentation. On the other hand, when you choose a short palette of two-colors then you should definitely have a reason.
What dictated the choice of blue?
From the beginning we were thinking about a graphic presentation based on one of the basic RGB colors. So the choice of blue in our project it was an one-way move because of the initial relationship that has the concept with liquid element and the sea (city as a the seabed, everyday life as the sea, roofs are the freeboards of an urban archipelago).
Alexandros, Serafeim and Konstantinos are three junior Architects from Greece with different origins, similar aesthetics and common cruising, who are match together from the beginning. Their point of view about the fundamentals of working and graphical presentation are connected to detailed design, minimal aesthetics, photographic approach and imagination, which follows their first artistic steps from Volos and University of Thessaly to Rome, Munich and Dubai.