Jessica Jackson

Architecture MArch (Hons)

ArchiTrust - Using trust as a vehicle to fund and run a placemaking project for the displaced in Athens


jess jackson

1.    Derived from Architecture of Trust (ArchiTrust)
2.    Terminology (Architecture of Trust) is borrowed from Kevin Werbach’s The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust  

The Project / Thesis 

The project uses technology as a framework to develop a design proposition. By using a trust(less) based system (such as Crowdfunding, Blockchain technology and sharing economy) the project investigates the possibility of a bottom-up placemaking process.  

The design part of the thesis explores a master plan for the neighbourhood of Eleonas in the west of Athens. It also focuses on a shelter typology which eliminates the need for urgent shelter by providing instant infrastructure and services. This gives displaced people an enclosed space to stay for the short term and also the possibility of self-building a home within the infrastructure for medium-term stays. 

A multi-faith centre is proposed as part of the placemaking process to boost community interactions for those who want to worship as part of a group but also provide a place of calm respite for those who want to use the space for contemplation or reflection.

Concept: Serviced Island

Athens is faint in the background with a floating island. The floating Island has people building and visible pipes connecting from the bottom.

The concept of the serviced island is to provide quick and easy access to short and medium-term accommodation for the displaced. On a serviced island, one will have access to infrastructure and services; all that is needed is an enclosure which can put be up easily.

The displaced in Athens

Map of Athens in the middle. On the top right there are some refugees in an overcrowded boat while others attempt to jump overboard to swim for their life. In the middle, there are three people walking in the flood. On the bottom left there is a refugee woman holding a baby. On the bottom right is a homeless man holding a sign.

Athens has long been an arrival city, both for people who have recently crossed borders and those moving within Greece’s borders and migrating from elsewhere. Athens is a choice city because it is the capital of Greece. This means increased opportunities for settlement or resettlement through access to better services and socio-economic prospects. Displaced people are not exceptional in the counting number of arrivers to the city. The city has become a receiver of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people from the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe. Climate disasters such as wildfires and floods are also causing more internal displacement.

Placemaking in Eleonas

Axonometric view of the proposed master plan. The text on the image points to specific buildings (from left to right) Market Pavilion, shelter, health centre, multifaith centre, information centre, community centre, community pavilion, school/development centre, urban garden,

Placemaking is a continuous collective process that involves the production and reproduction of spaces through people’s intentions on how they plan to live and experience their space. Eleonas is an industrial area west of Athens that has been home to many displaced people over the years. Over the years, the displaced have found innovative bottom-up ways of placemaking in the neighbourhood. The process of placemaking is tackled on three scales in the thesis. Namely the public scale, community-scale and personal scale. Public scale: places experienced by both the displaced and the general public. Community-scale: places used and experienced by the displaced community. Personal- scale: spaces used by individual displaced persons and may share with family and/or friends.

Master plan

Section drawing of shelter. Steel frame structure with four floors. The ground floor is a public space. The rooftop is a playground and sitting area.

Displacement comes with the need for shelter. The proposed shelter provides the structure and infrastructure allowing the displaced to take control the accommodation. By providing the avenue and resourcing to put up their desired accommodation it creates a scene of ownership and empowerment which is also an important aspect of the of placemaking.


ArchiTrust - Using trust as a vehicle to fund and run a placemaking project for the displaced in Athens

Shelter : Diagram and Strategy + Enclosure : Possible Spatial Configuration

Multi-faith centre


Historically, places of worship have been an anchor for public engagement and community connection. The multi-faith centre will provide a space for religious gatherings and reflection or contemplation for the displaced. The centre will help boost livability and community interactions and provide a place of calm respite. Also, many people are displaced through religious persecution; providing a space where people can worship freely also contributes positively to the placemaking process.

Multi-Faith Centre : Plans + Sections