Text by Antonas Office:
“Athenian Trenches tackle the city as a condition that operates with an apparent duality. On the one hand, what is stressed is the city’s current condition, which classifies Athens as the paradigmatic city in the era of this particular financial moment of the globe. On the other hand, the proposal measures the importance of the city as an urban formation inhabited by traces of both an ancient and a recent past. Every part of the Athenian history forms a potential narrative. The various successive layers in the city of Athens correspond to this system of narrative strata. Departing from Dimitris Pikionis’ tradition, but also commenting Bernard Tschumi’s interpretation of the urban underground in his New Acropolis Museum, we attempt to introduce a different type of “archaeology”, one that constitutes a spatial strategy documentation of the findings as project that leads towards some practices of urban subtraction that constitute the core of the project.
The proposal uncovers, organizes, piles and composes in this particular moment the fragments of the city’s uninterrupted social activity. The “New Panepistimiou Axis” becomes the plane that continues the experience of Pikionis’ pedestrian networks of Acropolis and Philopappou Hills for the inhabitant and the visitor of Athens. The proposal introduces an area of transition from the ancient, historic spaces to the core of contemporary Athens."
The project received an honourable mention in the competition.