Final project at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 1994
The project refers to a network of spaces/rooms in the historical center of Thessaloniki related to its Byzantine churches:
Agios Nicolaos Orfanos, Osios David, Agios Demetrius, Panagia Chalkeon, Agia Sofia.
The old churches- disparate, imposing but always isolated- are forming a parallel web in the contemporary city, under or over the actual surface: They are places of devotion, touristic attractions, places of play, brake points during a walk from the castle to the sea, or just dashes/ gaps in the regular city pattern.
The small buildings are laid on this web as a secondary, hidden network, invisibly connected. They are interior spaces-open rooms, small cells, retreats for meditation, niches for praying or just for being alone- devoted to a Byzantine icon.
The rooms relate to the churches like crypts or chapels: they keep distance, they touch or they lean on the church, they pass under or they rise at its side.
As interiors par excellence, they move mainly underground, while over the ground they reveal their inside.
Their form is based on the repetition and variation of specific, primary units-volumes, that are overlapped, composed and combined in plan, top view or section like a varying typology.
Through this design we tried to approach the space condition, the aura and the character of the Byzantine churches, creating new spaces that would have an analogy, a deep familiarity- a disparate similarity- with the icons and the Byzantine spaces that touch us:
particularity, intimacy, devotion, deep color, darkness and light, transparency, heaviness/weight, embracing niches, humidity, interiority, movement, intensity, expression.
Άγιος Νικόλαος Ορφανός