Chelseigh Buchanan

Architecture MArch (Hons)

Exosomatic Memory: using architectural interventions to capture memory in the abandoned structures of Athens, Greece.


Athens, where the land is pure and untouched.

The bliss environment is disturbed by the introduction of human intervention. The convenient location of the hill surrounded by rivers and streams becomes a place for the humans to gather and develop. The hill now has a name, The Acropolis. Architectural structures appear as places of protection and assembly.

What is this now? The water from the streams turn to concrete, which floods the rest of the ground below the hill, turning the sacred land into a sea of concrete that flows far into the horizon.

The humans appeared to have noticed but it is too late. In a confused attempt to preserve the ancient structures the concrete tap has been turned off, and now it is quieter all we can see is the Acropolis holding onto the last piece of floating land. Below the surface are the drowned ruins that the humans are ‘saving’. Protective glass seals are being placed over the historic structures to preserve them, as they are now frail. 

We now have a two faced city.

The working ancient and new city, and the abandoned city; the structures which were not sealed in time as they are, high maintenance, ugly, ill and dying. The problem is, they did not save them nor did they dispose of them. Now they lay on the seabed in their decaying state.

So how are they going to fix the problem when the humans are such hoarders? Even when it is harmful, they insist that the structures serve a purpose - it is up to us for that purpose to be realised...

A model of a city, with a hand placing a clear block in the centre, around one of the grey blocks.

Concrete model of city of blocks showing the abundance of abandoned buildings


photoshop image of neighbourhood plan in Athens, Greece

The city within the city

City Memoryboard

photoshop image of several sites of memory objects connected by paths

A circuit of connecting sites

Object Collective

photoshop image of 3d memory objects creating a city

Collection of memory objects creating a new layer in the city


photoshop image of a single memory object being used by visitors

Memory experience within the sites

Memory Objects

A collection of memory objects representing either memory of people, memory of Athens, or the memory of the project itself