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architectureportfolio Athina Ralli | part II architectural assistant 2016-2017

Athina Ralli | Selected Projects 2016-2017

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant


rooms+cities: the contemporary nomadic city architectural thesis


designing for autism spectrum disorder integrated design project


urban grid: the social factor design research unit

rooms+cities: the contemporary nomadic city architectural thesis abstract/

‘While the unpredictability of the future poses difficulties when attempting to generate an appropriate response to future urbanisation, the City Edge project becomes the investigation model that initiates the exploratory process. Freed from historical constraints, the contemporary nomadic city is the critical tool in our imagination of urban space.’

The rooms+cities studio uses architecture as a critical and polemical tool where city is defined as a field of urban and social forces and the room is the object of particular interest. The text discusses the character and spatial relations found within the Edinburgh City Edge site, the vast agricultural field located within Scotland’s Green Belt. The analysis explores formal characteristics of the existing landscape and their implication on the rural fabric while attempting to position the concept of the ‘room’ within the infrastructural site of Newbridge. The analysis on form examines the three-dimensional relations of the site in comparison to Lissitzky’s two-dimensional paintings and sets the framework for a site-specific architectural expression. The area is read as a constructivist composition where linear elements overlap and define an, otherwise, characterless field of oppositions. In this setting, form and occupation come into existence as two interdependent conditions of urbanisation. Research based on the behavioural and socio-political aspects of primitive, ethnological groups (peasant and nomad) reveals the contrasting types of inhabitants found within the urban fabric. To enhance the binary relations observed within the rural landscape, the further exploration on space articulation systems examines traditional and contemporary movement patterns. Grid and ladder are discussed on the grounds of their functional utility, formal language and social implication; the contemporary city presents itself as the space where modern architectural concepts question conventional design methods.


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

Edinburgh, Newbridge site introduction/ The design project, located in the Edinburgh Green Belt, acts as an investigation tool of the conditions found within the Newbridge area and its potential integration to the urban fabric. By reading the site’s particularities, its identity is found in the routes, movement patterns and historic qualities whose predominant nature render the space as the transitional intermezzo between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The exploration of its character, form and density questions traditional concepts of urban design and planning while providing an architectural response to collective life. media: AutoCAD, Photoshop


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

the infrastructural field conceptual exploration/ The site is reimagined as a palpable hub that bridges the vast contrasts of the landscape and its inhabitants; open and ever-expanding, the arrangement accommodates the variable components of a society without neglecting the individual. This field of juxtapositions sets the framework for the development of a hybrid that is applied to a space of conflict where agriculture meets infrastructure, the peasant coexists with the nomad and traditional form becomes part of the contemporary city. media: AutoCAD, Photoshop, pen, promarker


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

Almond Valley Viaduct road; railway; river

e Roundabout roads

defining the room, analysis on form site readings/

M9 river; road

In this agricultural/infrastructural field with sparse industrial fabric, the rooms are identified as the places to slow and look around, change course or simply stop and experience the surrounding landscape. The recreation of the rooms as abstract, constructivist compositions following a simple, geometric language, aims M8 in the further river; road

exploration of formal relationships found within the Newbridge site. Line, circle and square – representing paths, nodes and built form respectively – are employed to recreate space in its purest form media: AutoCAD, Photoshop

models: cardboard, greyboard, birch, plywood, oak, perspex 8

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

the contemporary nomadic city site plan/ media: AutoCAD, Photoshop 10

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

housing typology detailed analysis/

media: AutoCAD, Sketchup, Revit, Photoshop 12

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

housing typology detailed analysis/

media: AutoCAD, Sketchup, Revit, Photoshop 14

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

slab meets the landscape external views/ media: Sketchup, Vray, Photoshop 16

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

designing for autism spectrum disorder integrated design project introduction/

‘The project aims to achieve the integration of the ASD community and the provision of sensory sensitive housing options that promote well-being and independent living. Raising awareness is one step of the way; the rest lies in the active engagement of the community.’

The aim of the design project is to create an autism-specific housing community located in Lanark; a town in the greater area of South Lanarkshire with rich history, strong community links and remarkable nature elements. The site accommodates Ridgepark House, a residence for individuals with autism in need of a more permanent housing solution. As a result of the individual, highly specific requirements of the service users, the design project explores different solutions that would suit a variety of needs and disabilities. The brief tackles the provision of housing for the 5 existing residents of Ridgepark along with a respite centre for recreation and rehabilitation purposes, a publicly accessible social enterprise that would attract the local community and raise awareness, and a transitional centre. Due to limited published research on design guidelines for autism-specific housing, the design project explores solutions based on the outcomes of the group research and precedent studies. Bearing in mind both the contextual and historical importance of Ridgepark House within Lanark, the design scheme is directed toward the creation of an internal street that will not only connect the proposed scheme to the existing community but will also create new opportunities for the social integration of the service users.


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant


high street

housing clusters

green network

Lanark is a town character-

The newer development

Lanark, occupying the area

ised by its organic circulation;

in the town’s expansion

between the Clyde Valley, is

the main high street creates

are formed from the initial

one of the ecologically richest

the core movement axis.

rhythm of the streets.

areas of Scotland.

calm. order. simplicity

social interaction

community involvement

Flexible spaces achieve

Internal and external areas

Social engagement is

the integration of a wider

offer opportunities for

promoted through diverse

spectrum and enhance the

socialisation by providing

activity spaces.

development of independent

a safe, welcoming



athinaralli | part II architectural assistant


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

Ridgepark House


shared courtyard

medical unit

respite centre

high-functioning unit


private courtyard

low-functioning unit

sensory garden

internal street

autism spectrum community space arrangement/ The spatial organisation of the site creates opportunities for social inclusion at a number of scales. The buildings are arranged in a way that the individual dwellings form clusters that stand independently and offer a variety of internal and external spaces suitable for interaction between the service users. The clusters create small neighbourhoods that allow for a safe and contained environment encouraging movement and participation. media: AutoCAD, Photoshop, pen


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

high-functioning dwelling shared external spaces/ The housing clusters sit opposite the retained garden with a narrow pedestrian route running in between. The site arrangement promotes different degrees of enclosure and encourages interaction through sensory gardens and gardening activity spaces. Engagement with nature helps individuals on the spectrum deal with anxiety and stress related issues, making outdoor areas such as internal streets, gardens and seating clusters welcoming places the residents can retreat to. media: AutoCAD, Sketchup, Vray, Photoshop


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

high-functioning dwelling movement/ Central to the brief development is the provision of a clear plan arrangement which enables individuals with autism avoid confusion when moving around. Autism often exists parallel to a variety of other disabilities therefore wide circulation spaces for wheelchair users and individuals with other mobility issues are provided throughout the development. The spatial strategy requires the frequent use of corridors that allow for easy circulation and navigation. In order to enhance the narrow, transitional elements and create vibrant, in-between spaces, roofligts and seating areas are introduced. media: AutoCAD, Photoshop 30

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

high-functioning dwelling space arrangement/

media: Sketchup, Vray, Photoshop

model: MDF, balsa, mounting board, cork, seafoam


athinaralli | part II architecturalassistant assistant athinaralli | part II architectural

high-functioning dwelling technical detailing/ The structural strategy takes into consideration the specific requirements posed by autism such as reduced ambient noise levels and the use of durable materials and finishes. Building systems and appliances designed for quietness are selected and sound-proofing insulation is increased in ceiling and walls. Due to sensory overload issues, the spaces have harmonious and muted matt colours for inoffensive low stimulus arousal. The colour palette includes earthy, neutral colours that relax the eye and relieve stress and confusion. media: Revit, Sketchup, Vray, Photoshop


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

wall - window detail

wall - first floor detail

roof detail

high-functioning dwelling internal views/ media: Sketchup, Vray, Photoshop 36

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant


urban grid: the social factor design research unit abstract/

‘The grid can be considered as the indicator to all other architectural endeavours; it directs the position of buildings and how much space should remain between them, limits how large the footprint of plazas can be, and creates a linked horizontal pathway throughout the overwhelmingly vertical constructions.’

The city can be perceived in many different ways and take various forms. It is an ever-changing concept, a formation in space, an interactive machine that shapes and is shaped by the social relations of production and reproduction. Most importantly, it is the experience of a place, the memories associated with it, a composition of images, sounds and smells. How do we plan and design cities? ‘The role of urban design should be to create a harmonious environment for each individual who resides in it from the moment he rises in the morning until he retires at night’. (Bacon, 1976) Environment can only be experienced through movement in space. Movement creates a continuity of encounters with nature and forms the spaces through which it occurs. This gives the key to the concept of the movement system as a dominant organising force in architectural design. As Kevin Lynch proposed, the city is both an object and an idea; a construction of space, a structural entity that contains the meaning of identity and individuality. Structure and form cannot exist without the active presence of the community, and the urban fabric cannot exist without their constant interaction in time. Attempting to define the main elements comprising the city, it is essential to distinguish identity and structure as the two main components making up the image of the urban environment. Identity is the moving element, the people and their activities, the object that personalises the given space. Structure is the result of the object’s interaction with space and in time, the stationary parts that constitute the built environment. The two elements co-exist and complement each other, forming relationships that create the setting through which a place is perceived and occupied 40

athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

new york





athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

the ancient grid model/ Following Cedric Price’s idea of the ‘City as an Egg’, the ancient city is seen as a formation encased in its shell, representing the organisational structure of a nucleus within a perimeter wall. The form of the city was essentially developed around a core where most of the social activities occurred and was enclosed by a circular wall with highrise towers that offered protection.


athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

the modern grid model/ Based on modern Athens, the model shows a combination of ancient planning processes and industrialised modernist conceptions of the urban grid. Assuming that the modern city with a historic background is developed around primary community hotspots, the movement system is established in between to link these places of social significance.



athinaralli | part II architectural assistant

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Athina Ralli - Architecture Portfolio 2016-2017  

Selected academic projects

Athina Ralli - Architecture Portfolio 2016-2017  

Selected academic projects

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