Elemental Alchemy - Reconstructing The Athenian Neighbourhood
Climatic change is effecting the world more than ever before, and Athens has been no exception to these changes. Every year, flash floods across Athens displace hundreds of residents from their homes and shut off parts of the city, causing businesses to close and destruction throughout the city - with many losing their lives.
But what if the city could literally rise above the floods? This proposal sees the introduction of a new intervention that will protect existing green spaces, responds to current government initiatives regarding climate change, introduces flood control while allowing nature to still take its course.
By analysing precedents such as OKRA’s Re-Think Athens, Ludwig Karl Hilberseimer’s High Rise City, and Ildefons Cerda’s Barcelona Block, this 5-minute city reconstructing the Athenian block was able to come to fruition.
Giving context to the project, I began by analysing all of the green spaces in Athens, and imagining what the city would look like when floods take over. Analysis of the site included a "5-minute city" diagram highlighting the character of the area.
The proposed masterplan of the site includes uncovering a buried river to allow for flood control, a new proposed parameter city block, and a green corridor for pedestrians to enjoy the city while naturally cooling the street level.
A deeper understanding of the function of the new city block allows for public and private courtyard access, high and low density areas, walk-in access to lower level shops and cafes, and a penthouse floor located at the top of the buildings. These features allow for improved quality of built environment.
An exploded axonometric drawing of a proposed flat block allowing a deeper understanding of the block's connection to the street. The block is designed to float in the event of heavy flooding in the area.
The technical sections show exactly how the floating street would work, showing examples of various pitches and how a mechanical flood barrier would rise to allow for continued use of the street throughout a flood.