+ MONASTERY “ATTIKON”
URBAN RETREAT | A VENUE OF REGENERATION & INNOVATION FOR ATHENS
ILIANNA KLIANI CARC2032: DESIGN THESIS 2 CITY EDGE_URBAN MONASTERY UCA, CANTERBURY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN ARCHITECTURE, STAGE 2
+ SOCIAL CRISIS
The background: Greece is in social and political crisis right now — crippling national debt and rising taxes are crushing the middle class, eliminating jobs and tearing at the nation’s social fabric.
with 48% of young people out of work
increase in homelessness over the past three years
As Greek unemployment soars to record levels, soup kitchen rations more than doubled in Athens last year to about 10,000 a day
100,000 Greek Protesters Rally In Athens
of Greeks at risk of poverty or social exclusion
The protests turned violent and during the riots on February 2012 more than 90 buildings were damaged in Athens. From those, 9 were seriously damaged historic buildings of downtown Athens and amongst those the neoclassical landmark of ATTIKON was wrapped in flames. According to the first review of services in the municipality of Athens the buildings are mostly located in the streets Stadium, University College, Hermes, Athena and Aeolus.
1 in 5
of those in poverty cannot afford meals with meat every other day
The infrastructure (benches, benches, flower beds) in Syntagma Square were completely destroyed. Extensive damage has been done on other city infrastructure such as rails, paving, water trays etc. There were 40 tons estimated quantities of broken marble and stone collected from streets and sidewalks after the incidents.
calls to Athens suicide hotline in 2011 - double the 2010 figure
On the affected businesses, the mayor of Athens said: “After recording losses, we will be able to announce relief measures” and added: “The full potential of the municipality of Athens is on foot to heal the wounds of the city.”
Suicides in Greece increase 40% There is an increasing number of suicides in Greece, as more people feel hopeless amid the worst economic crisis in the country’s recent history: according to the health ministry data, the suicide rate jumped about 40% in the first five months of 2011 compared with a year earlier.
+ SOCIAL CRISIS
In this new context of economic contraction, churches and selfless, generous people of faith will play a critical role in reducing the human cost of bad government.
Historically and in periods of political and or financial instability the Greeks, especially the ones living in big cities, faced their based on their own strength as a nation along with the contribution of the Orthodox Church. It is known that people during any crisis tend to be closer to their religion seeking guidance, moral support and hope.
Contribution from the Orthodox Church: Food, Clothes, Medical Care, Moral Support
The Church runs a number of feeding stations and shelters around Greece, through a project known as ‘The Mission’. Since the crisis began, those centres have seen a sharp increase in the number of Greeks seeking help. “About 60% of the beneficiaries are now people of Greek origin,” Mr Dimtsas said. “Two years ago, the statistics were inverse. We had 25-30% Greeks and the rest were immigrants.”
“We are handing out 10,000 meals per day. We’ve been doing it for the last three months in order to confront the financial crisis.
Greek church promises to boost charity meals
“The tragedy is the increase in ages – unemployed people who are over 45 and cannot find a job again, and older people who are suffering lately from the reduction of their pensions.”
The church was handing out 10,000 portions of food per day in greater Athens, with requests for a greater amount growing “every day.”
Costis Dimtsas - Orthodox Church in Athens
“Every day, the message we get is that more food is needed ... we must take care to consider people’s dignity and that of their families.” “In a very discreet way, the city is handling their meal — there are about 200 children. I hope that number does not increase.” Church volunteer Father Andreas, an Orthodox priest, said more young people are seeking help. “The number of people needing help is growing every day ... We get every kind of person. Lately there are more young people who have lost their jobs,” said the priest, whose small Athens parish hands out 65 food-rations per day, cooked in the church basemen by volunteers.
+ CITY OF ATHENS
RELIGION IN GREECE
Business District Orthodox Church
+ THE MONASTERY
TRADITIONAL PROGRAMME & TYPOLOGY
03 WORK Activities
04 CLEANSE Services
05 MEAL Services
06 STORAGE Activities
The life of the monk is divided into three equal parts, one for praying, one for working and one for resting. He is waken by the repetitive beat of the symantron ( a long wooden symbol hit by a mallet ) at 11 p.m. for an hour of private prayer. Counting the knots of the rosary he repeats the Kyrie Eleison â€œLord Jesus Christ, have mercy on meâ€?. Then back to sleep until 4 a.m. when the sounds of the symantron fill the courtyards and the dark corridors once more, inviting everybody to the church for matins and the chanting of the hours. The Liturgy follows, timed to be celebrated at sun-rise, when the gates of the monastery are opened. At the end of the Liturgy, at about 10.30 a.m., the Igoumenos (Abbot) leads his monks to the refectory for the main meal of the day and from there everybody goes to their allotted tasks. One more service is celebrated in the church during the afternoon, depending on the time of year either at 3 p.m. for nones or at 5 p.m. for vespers. After vespers there is the supper at 7 p.m. and then the monk is free to retire. On certain occasions a vigil is celebrated which calls for a continuous service throughout the evening, night and the following morning.
The monks have two main meals a day, one at half past ten in the morning and supper at about seven in the evening. Meals are taken in the richly adorned refectory, while a reader on a pulpit reads from the New Testament throughout the meal.
watermill bath house
olive mill kitchen food / supply cellars
main gate medical care
small chapel watch tower 07 MEDICAL Services
10 PRAY Services
welcoming area / abbey
monk cells & guest rooms
+ THE SITE
PROPOSAL FOR “ATTIKON”
“ATTIKON” Cinema | Historic Monument
Urban Retreat | Spiritual Journey | Urban Monastery | Vertical Monastery
This building from the offset was destined to have commercial use. It was designed by Ziller but it was built by the Greek architect Alexander Nikoloudes in 1914, and began operations in 1916. Advertised with a view “strip color from nature!” It was the first movie with speech, and since 1929, after working under the direction of Skouras Films.
During this human crisis many people turn to faith seeking guidance and hope. People want to find something other than themselves to depend on, so they turn to their faith.
In my proposal, the building ATTIKON would shelter a Monastery, in the centre of Athens, given that during the reconstruction works the building facade and projection areas will be restored and preserved. By keeping the main architectural and cultural characteristics of the building, the character of the building and its historic significance is maintained
Its style was a combination of neoclassicism and eclecticism. Only few years later the building was redecorated by Nikoloudes in a neo-baroque style. The Cinema –theatre Attikon was set there from the beginning while the cinema Appolon was formed in the ‘30s. Cinema “ATTIKON” In 1912 in Athens and the Attica opens characterized as “Kinemakolor” it argues, as advertised, “film color from nature”! As it has a room “and kompsin thermasmenin with radiators” that may not be characterized as a “center of the flower of Athenian society, the diplomatic corps, the Royal Court, downtown art world.” (From the book by Nikos Theodosiou “In the old Cinema”) “APOLLO” Created in the basement and the overlying Attic began with ambitions that were fulfilled. Advertised as “the palace of Athens” and was distinguished for its thoughtful films. System operated exclusively Todd-AO (combined screen CinemaScope and stereo sound) and remained one of the good movies of the center. At times attempts were made to operate in the summer, with cooling systems. Is running, restored, and with digital projection and sound.
During these tough times in Greece, and under all circumstances there is a need for disengagement from the city, however people are unable to leave the urban districts. It is vital to escape from the world’s stress and bombardment of sounds and images to take time for the mind and heart and come to stillness. I am proposing a spiritual retreat, a retreat that serves the body, mind and spirit. The challenge is to essentially create sacred spaces without compromising the spatial qualities towards spirituality. I am exploring the notion of a retreat in the city, by taking the concept of going far away and placing it inside. This proposal is looking at the architectural problems of taking something that is outside and bringing it in. The desired outcome from the collection of these spaces is to bring forth psychological tranquillity, as well as reflect principals of permissiveness, respect, purity, relaxation and meditation. I am looking to combine the strict monastic life with the community services and facilities that the Greek Church provides as an entity. The monastic life will be separate and inclusive of all fundamental aspects of a monastery, even though it will be implemented inside the city. The rest of the building will accommodate all other functions connecting the monastery to the community. The monastery section is not to be implicated by any guest activities and accommodation, however the public could have access as part of a touring process.
The history of the cinema is significant as it has been around in the city of Athens for 100 years. During the German occupation (1941) had been requisitioned by German forces and was turned into a cinema for German soldiers. SPIRIT The historic movie theatre adapted to modern times, Pitted with the big chains, survived the German occupation and the economic crisis to end up in flames.
Unfortunately in the demonstration of the 12th February 2012, that took place in Athens, Attikon the cinema was wrapped in flames. The destruction of the old cinema, located at the corner of Christou Lada with Stadiou is complete, the exterior of the building was destroyed.
The Greek Minister of Culture has promised to fund its renovation.
In my concept I propose a spiritual and cultural refuge which comforts people, provides guidance and hope. At the same time it covers basic temporary survival needs and through an organised communication promotes the solution for current socioeconomic problems by organizing time bank, data bases for job seekers, etc. Specifically in the underground areas of the building would be for meetings, communications, and catering of communal meals. In the upper floors there would be a religious museum, exhibition areas and a medical care centre. In the rest of the building there will be workshops for the monks, library, accommodation rooms and religious service area.
+ THE SITE
01. Tranquillity | Proximity to Nature
02. Accessibility | Transportation
03. Building Height | Density
24m 28m 18m
04. Orientation | Sun
+ THE CONCEPT
First Proposed Component
Second Proposed Component
The existing facade will be restored and reused as the new development will be hosted inside of its envelope. The new structure will act as a support for this significant architectural element.
The new proposed volume is inserted into the envelope of the existing and restored structure. The existing facade and all maintained areas of the neoclassical building are informing the shape of the new proposal.
Offset volume reflecting the religious axis sitting on the higher levels of the structure. This second element acts as a connection of the two programmes, sacred and secular, providing visual references throughout the structure.
+ THE CONCEPT
Street Axis = Secular
Offset Axis = Sacred
Integration of Sacred into Secular
The existing grid sets out Universal values, clearly arranging the programs that belong to the social aspect of the building.
The offset axis is based on the orientation of the Church. This cubic volume represents the religious aspect that sits within the existing envelope.
The connection of the two volumes represents the link of the two programs introduced in the building. The visual connection between the geometry of the church and the rest of the building is obvious through the clash of the two structural grids.
The geometry of the offset volume has its own structural integrity with different focuses of grid as to that of the street axis.
The visual communication is an interplay of one grid against the other, a play of grid boxes and objects.
This becomes the principal axis informing all building lines, acting as mediation of the two spaces.
+ BUILDING USAGE SACRED | SECULAR
Workshops | Refectory
+ VERTICAL CIRCULATION
Public |Visitors Public |Cinema Private | Services Private | Monks
As the visitor walks in, the controlled main entrance is acting as a threshold which opens up into the bigger space where it becomes obvious how the two geometries come together. The grid clash and the orientation of the “sacred” direction leading the visitor all the way up through the main offset void allows one to experience a dynamic rising through the space.
The entrance to the building is separate and secluded from the main street axis. Access from the back side of the building allows the monk to access freely at all levels.
The accessible to the public levels offer an appealing journey through the space, providing a set agenda for basic survival needs as well as recreational spaces. Finally, once one reaches the stairs to the monastery, again the narrow stairs create a second threshold leading inside the open air courtyard of the monastery. The courtyard with the dominant church and the crisp purity of the white walls is maintained by the blaring sun, and an open canvas to the wind. The open space allows the visitor to centre themselves withe renewed perspective.
Visitor | Monk Circulation Paths
+27 | Roof +24 | Monastery Cells | Library +21 | Monastery Cells |Library
+17 | Monastery Entrance | Church | Library
+12 | Refectory | Workshops | Stairs to Monastery +9 | Medical Centre | “Attikon” Rooftop +5 | Museum | Exhibition Spaces
| Main Entrance | Services | Cinema Entrance
- 3 | Offices | Conversation Rooms - 6 | Social Engagement | Services
Underground would be all service areas such as launderettes and storage, ground would be the main kitchen which distributes meals on all levels of the structure via a kitchen lift. The monks access the monastery grounds through their private circulation route without interrupting with the visitors. In the same respect, a private circulation route for the Monks is running under the main courtyard space. This allows privacy and access to all facilities (refectory and workshops) without entering the open courtyard.
+ FLOOR PLANS
GROUND FLOOR 1:200
0 | Ground Floor Main Entrance Cinema Entrance Monastery Shop
+ FLOOR PLANS 1:200
-2 | Underground Level Social Engagement Communal Meals
-1 | Underground Level Conversation Rooms Administration Offices
+ FLOOR PLANS 1:200
+1 | Museum Level Exhibition Spaces
+2 | Medical Centre Level Accessible Rooftop
+ FLOOR PLANS 1:200
+3 | Workshops Level
+4 | Monastery Level
Courtyard Abbey Library
+ FLOOR PLANS 1:200
+5 | Cells - Library Level
+6 | Cells - Library Level
+ FLOOR PLANS
ROOF PLAN 1:200
+ SECTIONAL PERSPECTIVE
+ CHURCH COURTYARD
+ CHURCH INTERIOR
+ INTERIOR VIEW
+ DYNAMIC RISE
+ INTERIOR VIEW
+ NIGHT SHOT
+ EXTERIOR VIEW
Published on May 29, 2012
This design thesis (2) introduces a spiritual and cultural non profit making refuge, for the benefit and socioeconomic support of the Greek...