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dora felekou

portfolio 2008 - 2014 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


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Design guidelines GSAPP, critic: Hilary Sample

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The Comedy of Divine Art GSAPP, critic: Bernard Tschumi

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the philly shake GSAPP, critic: Keith Kaseman

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reflections GSAPP, critics: Joshua Uhl & Danil Nagy

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multiple perspective GSAPP, critic: Michael Rock

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the re-housed park final thesis, critic: Georgios Panetsos

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reflections & Recollections Metropolis course, critic: Enrique Walker Metropolarities research thesis, critic: Georgios Panetsos

academic

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beton hala Yannis Patronis architects

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living generations Buerger & Katsota architects

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Grigio concept store block722architects+

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under one roof

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tiny details block722architects+

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on the hillside block722architects+

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between the lines block722architects+

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bifurcating views block722architects+

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98 104 professional


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academic work

2010- 2014

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learning from rio DAS pedras

design guide lines Studying the urban conditions and programmatic typologies of the Rio das Pedras favela, an adjacent site is populated. Rio das Pedras is homogeneous in its built elements but heterogeneous in its open spaces, the spaces that constantly shrink due to the augmented occupation. The use of decorative elements, especially ceramic tiles, is prevalent. Tiles are a guiding element of the analysis and the design process. Tiles imply elevation differentiation but also different densities when they are scaled up to a neighborhood and treated as programmatic plan elements. Different tiles are created, each according to design guidelines developed specific for Rio das Pedras. Their interweaving according to multiple scales and orientations creates a fabric that incorporates the heterogeneous and open qualities of the Brazilian favela.

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spring 2014 STUDIO CRITIC - hilary sample dora felekou, maria lozano, george kyriazis, danny hou COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


spring 2014

Analysis of the current condition Urban and unit typologies found within Rio das Pedras. The existing condition reflects a super dense, super programmed condition. Retail, residential, religious, educational, office, crafting space and service cores are clustered in the most unexpected ways. The sections across the streets of the favela reveal different layers of coverage and mass density. The whole analysis was framed in a book, submitted in Columbia University’s Studio-X in Rio de Janeiro, to forward further research on Rio das Pedras.

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research book layouts

rio das pedras design guidelines

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spring 2014

time bank

mini swimming pool

sky observatory

romantic walk

open air school

fields

exhibition

central program

coolture

fountains

24/7 school

sports

climbing wall

bubble game

gym

program overlap

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rio das pedras design guidelines

hanging gardens

pocket parking

projection

vegetable gardens

purifier

fitting rooms

pocket cafe

bike rack

skeletal space

HYBRID S U B - TYPES

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workshops

skate-bike circuit

storage

open air cinema

pixel market

water park


hybridization in factory site

spring 2014

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rio das pedras design guidelines

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excerpt from act II | purgatory


THE COMEDY OF DIVINE ART

FIRS T

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EDI T ION

FALL 2013 STUDIO CRITIC - BERNARD TSCHUMI dora felekou, mengfan fu COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


fall 2013

The transgressional space

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comedy of divine art

is the space of and for mutation

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fall 2013

chromosomic mutation notation

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comedy of divine art

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mutation triggering


fall 2013

the building will appear

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comedy of divine art

only after the play has ended the parts are dissociated, intuitevely connected by the user

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fall 2013

the comedy of divine art

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ntering the market, the hero was bored. The art scene was surprisingly similar to everywhere else. Emptiness, he said. Suddenly a bright, inviting façade lured him inside a gallery. More galleries were stacked, similar in every way. The hero started getting used to art, wanting more. An opening market led further inside.

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he hero found himself in a paradise. Art was abundant, art was everywhere. The hero felt privileged to be inside the building’s spiral and never-ending mechanism. Art was worshipped inside the speakeasy galleries. The spiral continued downwards, to the unconscious purgatory. Art, the true light, was leading the way. This is how everyday life should be. This is how everyday purgatory life became.

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glimpse of a small light atop the spiral stairs appeared. He ran upwards, hoping for a change. How lucky he felt when the exit appeared clear, just at the end of the long magnificent corridor.The exit is there, just a little bit further! He is deceived – the exit is just a window, higher than the street level. Following a keyhole, he hopes to find fuga a downward path.

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comedy of divine art

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nside the observatory, large spaces and realities are revealed through the keyholes. Only vision can offer stimulation. The openings start becoming tiresome; he has to stretch in order to reach them. Art disappears gradually, filling the hero with sadness. Color appears. Light. Emotions. Only now does he realize that he was bending observatory all along.

he exit is near.There is no obvious and tangible art beyond this threshold. Everything dissolves under the natural light. Strangely, there is no urge to rush – the ramps offer vision, movement, lightness and catharsis. The hero moves freely, becoming part of the building that has no art but turns into catharsis art its very existence.

hen the hero left the space, the neighborhood seemed inviting. Besides the exit there is a hidden space, a sad mirror of the interior. People were caressing the walls, staring at blank material. They were not yet ready to leave. Disappearing in the distant threshold, secretly sneaking in, only rehab to start anew.


fall 2013

artistic activity can open obstructed

BEHIND THE SCENES, THE BUILDING APPEARS The art critique generator inverses the art experience by challenging the notion of familiar and unfamiliar art. Familiar in the front is perceived as projection, transparency, attractiveness, marketing. Unfamiliar is perceived as loss of materiality, delicate exposure. The space choreography is mandated by the mutating path. The scene of the market episode is a repetition of the normative gallery condition. The purgatory scene is constructed as a collage of fragmented spaces. The false escape scene takes place in a long corridor that transverses grids, spaces and volumes, ending in the picture window, the urban reflection to the inside. The keyhole space is entirely dedicated to distorted projections and exhibitions. The final catharsis space is a direct mutation of the double helix staircases in the second part of the building. The spiraling move is connected with purification and a mild, regenerating movement towards the exit. The exit is hidden underneath the ramp, personal and intimate.

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comedy of divine art

front facade | consumerism, back facade| sculpture

passages, levels of reality kept apart

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fall 2013

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second floor plan, main and lateral sections

comedy of divine art

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fall 2013

A mutation can be silent or violent. the ruptures are the cause of change, the triggers of mutation. The process is transgressional, perpetual, vivid.

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comedy of divine art

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the philly shake

on stimulations and urban stirring-ups Philly Shake focuses on projecting urban futures through multiple operations. An arsenal of strategies was developed through model making and site observations. The strategies were implemented in the urban fabric of Philadelphia. The multifaceted character of Philly led to specific observations. Its history is not linear. Its multiple stimulation points are variable. Urban shaking usually occurs through demolition and restructuring of the urban front. It is on the grid that the shake is more radical and stimulating.

summer 2013 STUDIO CRITIC - keith kaseman COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


summer 2013

The g r i d i s S ha k en . multiple Orientations, scales and levels are introduced. The urban block is not an enclosed and solidified entity. There are visual, olefactory, audible, gustatory and tangible stimulation points scattered around the block. The points deform the normative grid, revealing openings and enclosures that were previously unseen. Philadelphia is the ground where the remixing and deformative strategy is applied. The existing urban elements are sorted out according to use. Through the shake, programmatic and volumetric scoops occur. The void is amplified by the insertion of volumes into the ground, gaining purpose. The results of the shake are new urban typologies that create new experimental ways of understanding the urban fabric through scoops of space and time.

the grid shakes and causes relocations

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philly shake

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summer 2013

S M

The armory of strategies contains distortions and relocations at multiple scales and depths. The scoops of space and time create an everchanging and perpetual urban renewal. The scale of the city is challenged, strengthened and weakened at the same time.

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philly shake

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summer 2013

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philly shake

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summer 2013

THE INVERTED TOPOLOGY

THE ENCLOSED COURT

THE VERTICAL WAREHOUSE

THE IMPOSED CLUSTER

THE OUTDOOR STORAGE

THE BULKING PROGRAM 40


philly shake

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THE ROTATING CONUNDRUM

THE PERFORATING WEDGE

THE SCATTERED UNIT

THE AMPLIFIED SHED

THE HIDDEN VORTEX

THE REMNANT CONNECTION


summer 2013

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the mega market

philly shake

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summer 2013

*shake generator!

*remnant connection! *outdoor storage! *mega market! *amplified shed! *enclosed court!

*imposed cluster!

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philly shake

*inverted topology!

*bulking program!

*scattered unit! *perforating wedge!

*memory amplifier!

*rotating conundrum! 45


summer 2013

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drawing with data

passive and active reflections

a shad o w p l ay o n sh i ge r u ban ’ s me ta l shu t t e r h o uses

The intense relationship between the 19th street architectural triad, formed by Frank Gehry’s, Jean Nouvel’s and Shigeru Ban’s oeuvres in New York City was the starting point of the drawing. The IAC building has characterized the area formally through its iconic shape and specialty glazing. The Condominium residences cast continuous reflections to all directions. Where the IAC and Condominium invite the eye, the Shutter House averts it—a move conventionally read as anti-public. However, when the shutters remain closed, the public domain remains unhindered and returned to the actual public users. The drawing captures the fight and clash of shadows and reflections onto the shutters, a daily ritual. The shutters receive the aggressive reflections but develop a strong architectural character at the same time.

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summer 2013 INSTRUCTORS - JOSH UHL & dANIL NAGY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


fall 2013

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the “other” design

fixation on the multiple perspective a s p i r a l l i ng i mme r s i o n i n t o t he f u t u r e c i t y The guiding goal of the design process was sectionality. Revealing unexpected views and spaces, literally piercing through solid material. A metaphor of the Jetsons landing in central park is used. The Jetsons leave their spaceship to explore New York and the bulb becomes the trigger of a new pavilion. Passengers approach the hemispherical object curiously. As they go inside, a lowering platform guides them underground, through a sectional journey inside a futuristic city, the Jetsons’ environment. The pavilion consists of a double envelope in the shape of the hemispherical cap of the metaphorical spacecraft. The hemispherical roof and the cylindrical chamber create panoramic and panopticon views. The pavilion is an alien object landed in Central Park, mysterious and inviting. The inside is a negative of the outside, a city of augmented speed, views and experiences.

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FALL 2013 INSTRUCTORS -MICHAEL ROCK, OANA STANESCU COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION


fall 2013

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the “other� design

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01. sectional views inside the pavillion, 02. content unfolding of the screens, 03. floor plans and viewpoint calculations, 04. arrangement and dimensions of the screens


+ topography

+ water

+ ground

+ municipal

+ green

+ axes

+ location

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park, rehoused i mag i n i ng a new u r ban f r o n t

Kessariani is a part of Athens where refugees from Asia minor built their first homes. The expansion of the original refugee settlement began around the ancient stream of Heridanos, resulting in an urban landscape varying in architectural typologies from the 1920s to the 1970s. Nowadays, an iconic neighborhood is nothing more than a withered cell, with the housing typologies in a really bad condition and the free space unused and unattended for. The study process begins with the distinction of the main topographical elements of Kessariani, continues with the evaluation of the buildings’ current situation, intensifies what truly is history and tries to procure a new distinct urban landscape: housing typologies adapted to the needs of a modern family, a new urban park of local and supra-local importance and points of interest that enrich the area programmatically. The presence of the five tall buildings is a symbolic and pragmatistic move. The five buildings act as beacons marking the area’s supra-local character. Their height allows the ground to be free, forming a11km2 park area. A new, strong urban front for the park is created. The ancient stream emerges once more, and the bed is formed with similar strictures and flats to successfully address any spills during rainy seasons.

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instructor - panetsos georgios landscape advisor - doxiadis thomas Patras SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE


november 2010

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undergraduate thesis project

Analysis of existing and proposed vegetation according to shadow, provision, edibility of flowers or leaves, medical value of leaves, flowering and fruit bearing patterns.

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Shadow diagram of design proposal around the year. Plants are distributed according to shadows, so that evergreen trees do not coincide with shadowy areas during winter months.

Mapping of the area (sewers, gas, high voltage, low voltage, telecommunications, streams, water supply, rainwater, transportation. ownership. first floor, ground floor).


november 2010

above: successive section pop-ups, right: masterplan overview

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undergraduate thesis project

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november 2010

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undergraduate thesis project

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professional work

2011- 2013

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current condition

proposed condition

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beton hala waterfront center t he s t r ech i ng l andsca p e The proposal’s main concept is structured around the idea that the void area between Beton Hala and Belgrade Fortress will be transformed into a man-made lagoon. The proposed new landscaping develops a strategy based on creating different dynamic landscapes, an inverse transformation commemorating the sand fills. A theoretical flooding of the area occurs, cleansing the traces of the industrial environment. The new Waterfront Center is formed as a sailing sheet that idly lays by the slope. Its design features a synthesis of skin openings and skylights, inherited by the typology of window openings of the adjacent neighbourhood. The Beton Hala building is reinvented. It is kept intact, stripped of all elements that covered its architecture and re-revealed as an elevated promenade. The new Waterfront Center is designed as a linear space with unfolding functions. The lobby is the central circulation core of the Center. A multifunctional conference hall, curatorial and other office spaces are immediately accessed from the lobby. Exhibitions (permanent and temporary) and conference areas are inter-connected internally, while most of the commercial areas are autonomously developed and are visited mostly by the exterior.

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international competition belgrade, serbia patronis architects - yannis patronis & christos patronis felekou dora, koligliati konstantina, lazaridou gianna, lekkas giorgos, patsaki pinelopi


march 2011

| commercial | circulation | exhibition

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international design competition

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01. circulation anlysis diagram, 02. concept analysis, engulfing with water


march 2011

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international design competition

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03. conceptual rendering of the proposal area, 04. frames of water activities and interactions, 05. sections showing the interaction of the building with the neighborhood, the existing Beton Hala and the park.


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living generations.

s o c i e t y & ec o l o gy. Gleisdorf’s positioning in-between the hilly region of Graz and East Styria together with its industrial and commercial activities, constitute a fundamental reference to the development of the design concept. The ground of the compound in reference to the precedent of the agricultural shed and in appreciation of the subsoil condition, was intentionally lifted 1m above the present level. The “square of cultures� is understood as a fluid conglomeration of open public spaces that dissolve into arteries / niches. The intention is to allow for this arterial insertion in order to define the internal porosity of the compound, i.e. the open spaces strategy. The strategy covers three scales: the scale of the units and the linear bars, the in-between scale, in the interstices between the linear bars and thirdly, the scale of the superimposed open, public spaces.

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europan 2008 competition gleisdorf, austria office bka - stephan buerger & demetra katsota felekou dora, karagianni anna, govatsos tassos


october 2008

urban scenarios

program variations

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international design competition

floor plans

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space variations


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ready readymade made&&Prêt-à-Porter Prêt-à-Porter s tag i ng t he de ta i l s The main design purpose is the creation of a multifunctional space that will offer a completely unique shopping experience, involving a “secret” café and garden in the back. The boundaries of the inside and outside are constantly blurred with the presence of plants, swings, outdoor lighting and doors in the inside space. For this reason a six metre glass facade is designed that lets the view to the patio at the back of the building unhindered. An open green space is created at the back that extends the function of the cafe during the summer months. All elements inside the new Grigio store are designed from scratch, using objects and images in unexpected ways. Doors become tables for showcasing accessories and jewelry, wooden frames surround hangers and weathervanes navigate the view to the café while functioning as clothing hangers as well. The walls, stripped of any old and unnecessary materials are left bare, roughly painted white and all ventilation and heating pipes are unhidden. The use of trompe-l’oeil prints creates unexpected views. A passageway space from the street to the back is created where the shopping and socializing experiences constantly intertwine.

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office block722architects+ position: project architect team: sotirios tsergas, katja margaritoglou dora felekou, koligliati konstantina photography: achilleas menos


december 2012

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professional work

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01. iron&glass facade, 02. framed counter, 03. weathervane hanger, 04. display table, 05. iron&glass front entrance, 06. pillow fabric design and palette, 07. bar wall print, 08. staircase wall print, 09. display stools, 10. fabric changing room prints, 11. hangers, 12. iron handrail


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under one roof a q uabay h o t e l In designing the space and landscaping of a 5* hotel in Zakynthos, Greece. the main concept of the common areas focuses on a game between the various lobby functions, visually broken down and readjusted in the scale of a house. The landscaping and exterior of the hotel are dominated by the hotel’s roofs. The various wings’ roofs are unified into one, spanning across the building and extending to the outside, reminiscent of the intense topography of the area. The in-between space offers patio and water areas that follow the slope and create diverse promenades.

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office block722architects+ position: design architect team: sotirios tsergas, katja margaritoglou dora felekou, koligliati konstantina photography: anna perela


01. ground floor plan, 02. balcony construction axonometric, 03. zinc roof detail, 04. lobby partition, 05. main bar section, 06. bar elevation and partition design

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professional work

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07. custom made pendant lights, 08. custom wall print on pre-painted and treated wood panels 09. exterior pools and patios, 10. custom wardrobe design, 11. main outdoor corridor, second floor, 12. typical room partition, 13. main entrance, 14. hotel lobby


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01. ground floor plan, 02. fireplace and cabinet elevation, 03. fireplace and cabinet section

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tiny details

r es i dence r en o vat i o n

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office block722architects+ position: design architect team: sotirios tsergas, katja margaritoglou dora felekou, koligliati konstantina photography: anna perela


march 2013

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04. master bathroom partition, 05. guest restroom, 06. master bedroom personal storage space, 07. office entrance, 08. master bathroom

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professional work

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09. first floor plan, 10. custom sliding door panel order, 11. custom sliding door detail 12. custom door frame, 13. master bathroom details

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on the hillside agg r egat e & segg r egat e Both residences are situated in the island of Syros. The main intention of Syros I was to unify the various spaces of the house under one roof facing the Aegean, whereas the approach at Syros II was to create multiple volumes clustered together. In both cases, the entrance is situated in the back, following a gentle descent through continuous miniature courtyards, planted with local aromatic herbs. The landscape and sea are gradually revealed. In both cases, the common areas are the main core of the house, antagonized by the outdoor areas, a relationship vivid in all examples of traditional island architecture.

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office block722architects+ position: project architect team: sotirios tsergas, dora felekou , katja margaritoglou status: under construction


december 2012

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professional work

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left: main floor plans of implementation study, right: detailing and rendering samples


october 2012

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professional work

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left: catalogue of implementation documents: custom design cabinets, bathroom detailing, stone and brick walls, right: lighting study, planted roof waterproofing detail


marrh 2012

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professional work

between the lines

r es i dence r en o vat i o n

In one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Athens, the redesign of an existing loft was commissioned. The apartment, was stripped of its old walls and flooring and gained a new character, completely different from the former chaotic mixture of rooms and dividers. The apartment front, enjoying a magnificent view of the city, is unified into a vast living room space. The existing pillars are integrated into the design process, left unhidden and used as a grid on which the new glass faรงade moves. The new faรงade consists of continuous glass panels that can be completely drawn aside, connecting the living room space to the balcony. The faรงade turns towards the inside to meet the central pillar, creating a central atrium, an ethereal divider between the living and dining areas. The main design intention was to maintain the large axes of the apartment completely unhindered. Furniture, shelves and utilitarian spaces are integrated into a series of wardrobes. The two dominating axes lead to the bedroom areas. The result is a clean space, free of any visual turbulence.

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office block722architects+ position: design architect team: sotirios tsergas, dora felekou


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bifurcating views d o ub l e r es i dence The site is located in a steep, densely planted slope on the island of Skiathos. The owners main desire was the creation of two interdependent housing units. The main design purpose was the creation of two neighboring volumes, separated in their main body but connected in their entrance. The housing volumes follow the steep slope, evolve in different orientations and amply allow the light to enter the inside through vast openings. The ground floor begins at ground level and eventually follows the footprint of the upper floor, opening to the view through uneven terraces and pools. The ground floor walls are stretched to the site’s limits and clad in stone, thus disappearing in the natural environment. Private spaces are found on the upper floors whereas common spaces and living rooms occupy the ground floor levels.

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office block722architects+ position: project architect team: sotirios tsergas, eleni meladaki, dora felekou


october 2011

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professional work

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left: upper floor plan and section, right: renderinds of exterior and interior spaces, study model


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writing samples

2010- 2014

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august 2013

reflections Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses are characterized by their massive metal cladding, covering in a retractable or permanent manner the most exposed façades of the building. The extended and unified presence of the shutters poses an interesting question:

of a real estate asset. It is true that the shutters can move according to the inhabitants’ will, but their usual position is shut and defensive, fully open only for advertising photo purposes. The shutters become an impermeable envelope upon which urban reflections clash.

are the shutters an impermeable barrier, protecting the inhabitants’ privacy, or is their role better conceived of as the filtering and gradual transition from the private to the public? What exactly is their part in this ambiguous relationship between the private and public spheres?

On the other hand, the word shutter has a double meaning. A shutter is also a filter that can be controlled and can react to its surroundings in a sensitive way. The Metal Shutter Houses may close down, but can that action really be interpreted only as an act of protection? The façade can react to the users’ preferences as already mentioned. In addition, the complicated façade is comprised of an additional glazing that can also recede completely in the fashion of garage doors. This operating fashion is a direct reference to the area’s underlying and now reenacted industrial character, with metal being the ideal material to intensify this reconnection to the past. Conventionally, luxury units can open completely to the public. However, is that condition truly ideal? The massive opening of a window measuring 5x6m is an act that one might interpret as aggressive—a powerful assertion to and imposition upon the public sphere, being a sheer demonstration of architectural construction, obliging rather than inviting the eye to look upon it,

Shutters can be linked with two distinct connotations. On the one hand, shutters are a barrier that obscure the inside functions from the prying eye of the neighbors or passers-by. Regarding the Shutter House’s proximity to the IAC and Condominium Residences mega structures, the barrier’s role demonstrates this protective function. The shutters can completely shut down, protecting the building from the aggressive reflections it constantly receives from its neighbors. The continuous reflection interplay is perfectly canvassed on the side façade of the housing, constantly and rigidly clad in non-retracting shutters. The provocative rejection of the outside space and view is in complete contrast with the typical “rules” of luxury housing: openness and glazing that usually demonstrate to the public the coveted aspects

A reference must be made at this point to the intense relationship between the 19th street architectural triad, formed by

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metropolis papers

on metal shutter houses Frank Gehry’s, Jean Nouvel’s and Shigeru Ban’s oeuvres in New York City. In comparison to the IAC building and the Condominium residences, Shutter Houses can hardly be spotted, neither from the street nor from the High Line—the usual path for Chelsea sightseeing. When actually approached though, the building holds its own and offers significant contrasts— even, to a degree, regarding issues of public space. The IAC building has characterized the area formally through its iconic shape and specialty glazing. The Condominium residences offer massive views of the river, conveying an open character that is in fact addressed only to a privileged minority. Furthermore, the building projects itself upon the public sphere in a panopticon-like manner through continuous reflections and the ubiquitous possibility of being watched from any number of the elevated private views, where private residents, particularly from higher angles, can see but not be seen. Where the IAC and Condominium invite the eye, the Shutter House averts it—a move conventionally read as anti-public. However, when the shutters remain closed, the public domain remains unhindered and returned to the actual public users, undisturbed by the unnecessary and privatizing glimpses of privileged residents, though this foregoes a view to the luxurious inside—a desire only assumed as being significant to the public.

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summer 2013 INSTRUCTOR - enrique walker advisor - amy zhang COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION

The ambiguity regarding the private/public nature of the Shutter House emerges from the difficulty of assessing what is public and private without identifying who is specifically the subject in question. The Shutter House is at the same time private from the public and open to the public, private to the residents and open to an audience beyond the residents. Here, shutters are elevated and take full ownership of their double meaning: a barrier and a filter at the same time, protective and yet open and inviting. When opened, the framing of the view is captivating for the residents while referencing the area’s industrial character through elevated and complex mechanics, engaging the public view in this subtle manner. When closed, the luxury units’ residents regain their right to privacy, freed from the obligation of constantly being part of an advertisement. The passers-by regain something even more important: the right to the city, unobstructed by unnecessary and insincere invitations to, what is for an overwhelming many, an unreachable place.


august 2013

recollections Since their introduction, Shigeru Ban’s Metal Shutter Houses have created a series of expectations. Quotes concerning the new luxury residential building have appeared in forums and article commentaries, either praising or heavily criticizing Ban’s first New York endeavor. The extensive use of shutters is a bold gesture, and their exact benefits or handicaps have received many interpretations. On the one hand, the complete cladding of the building with shutters and the second skin of floor to ceiling glazing was a much criticized decision for a city that is subject to bad weather for approximately six months a year. The extensive glazing has been characterized “California – like”, providing unnecessary exposure to the unpredictable climate conditions. Despite the appreciated double height living areas, the openness expands in bedrooms and bathrooms as well, creating spaces that are much exposed to views from the high line and the neighboring IAC building. In addition, the shutters mainly cover the north façade, providing additional shade to an already shaded part of the building. The façade openness clashes with many building regulations, with the developers having actually being warned for water leaks and wind blasts during winter. The use of shutters has been praised as bearing the distinct mark of Ban’s commitment to the use of common materials in innovative ways. Ban has been hailed as

the master of material manipulation, often working with usual materials such as fabric and paper and succeeding in using them as awe inspiring architectural and structural elements. Curtain Wall House demonstrated in the most poetic way how Ban can turn curtains into windows and make walls penetrable. Shutters are also a non common elevation element in New York, in fact active external shading is almost absent from residential buildings. Inhabitants have shading options that are self-installed, never being provided with a wholesome and constructed shading option. The shutters are active shading that keeps sun glare and reflections from neighboring buildings at bay, providing a sustainable alternative to the unquestioned use of the air-condition. In addition, the shutters make a strong locus specific statement. Contrary to the collection of buildings on West 19th street, they are an interpretation of the security rolls used in Chelsea galleries and delis. The shutters make a direct connection to the area’s past and reenact Chelsea’s latent industrial character. Ban refers to the shutters as elements of a retractable skin, constantly changing according to the residents’ needs and preferences. The luxury housing condominium is thus regarded as clusters inside a cluster.

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metropolis papers

on metal shutter houses This characterization calls for a deeper understanding of the careful and meticulous manner in which Ban arranges the elements at hand. The shutters can be criticized or praised but their acknowledged modernist value echoes to the quest for the universal space, as interpreted by Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, taking the form of a thoroughly calculated, invisible spatial domain. Throughout Ban’s work, a constant reference to geometrical manipulations in the style of the “New York Five” and especially John Hedjuk’s space can be traced. Even in Metal Shutter Houses, the grid is distinct and powerful in the plan and elevation, the beams and structure remain hidden and uncertain. The internal compartmentalization relies on sliding panels, strongly evoking the search for the “universal space”. Since the 1920s there has been a close relationship between Japanese and German architecture – for example between German classic modernism and traditional Japanese timber architecture. A circle of influence and interaction begins through the work of early modernists. In the following years, Japanese architects are inspired by the modern movement, bypassing the fact that their own tradition sparked it. Indeed, when looking at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fall-

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ingwater, the universal space seems to be achieved. As in a traditional Japanese space, the size, continuity and quality of the space is omnipresent and can constantly be changed depending on the season or occasion. A key element of the universal space as interpreted by Wright is the fourth dimension – the depth. “With this concept of depth interpenetrating depths comes flowering a freedom in design which architects have never known before. Space outside becomes a natural part of space within the building. All building design thus actually becomes four-dimensional.” The essential depth of the universal space is achieved in Metal Shutter Houses through the use of sliding white panels that can change the interior according to the residents’ needs. The space created by a building is always a presence, but it is one that continually changes in use and in form, in the sense that the boundaries of interior and exterior may be negotiated. The universal space is indeed changeable, it is a reality and not a static matter. Ban follows the dialectic of the destroyed box that was established by Wright and was forwarded and abstracted even more in its white form by the “New York Five”. Metal Shutter Houses are boxes within destructed boxes, within a larger box that can also be destructed. This chain of reaction is achieved by the implementation of the shutters and their crucial role in enveloping the building.


august 2013

Bibliography Eisenman, Peter. Inside Out: Selected Writings, 19631988. New Haven:Yale University Press, 2004. Emilio Ambasz, Shigeru Ban. Shigeru Ban. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001. Freeman, Michael. Space : Japanese design solutions for compact living. New York: Universe, 2004. McQuaid, Matilda. Shigeru Ban. London: Phaidon, 2003. Pollock, Naomi R. “A Shut and Open Case.” Architectural Record, September 2011: 90-90. Satler, Gail. Frank Lloyd Wright’s living space : architecture’s fourth dimension. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1999.

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A critical moment in the shutters’ position is the subtle change between being open to the world and creating a personal shelter. The boundaries are subtly blurred and the act of openness or aperture is incorporated in an innovative design that does not seek attention in the nowadays gallery-like West 19th street view. The strategy of the Japanese “borrowed view” is implemented. The space is arranged according to exterior elements that are drawn to the inside by means of careful framing and juxtaposition. In the conceptual space of Peter Eisenman, the edge is very important for the framing outcome. The edge stress can be understood through the use of a known object as the limit, with the limit changing according to the position of the edge. In Metal Shutter Houses, interior and exterior edges are blurred. The inside boxes - rooms are framed but their edges can change according to the inhabitants’ needs. The rooms are enclosed in bigger boxes apartments that showcase this first level of relationship intensely through the use of double height ceilings.The whole structure is enveloped in a metal box that can also be destructed by manipulating the shutters. The box then opens up to its fourth dimension – the intricate façade that is comprised of the shutters, the beams, the glazed balconies and the garage – like glass doors that open up completely to the inside, revealing the interior space. The

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summer 2013 INSTRUCTOR - enrique walker advisor - amy zhang COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY - GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & PRESERVATION

viewpoint can be controlled and receive multiple positions according to the manipulation of the exterior views. The moving edges constantly blur the limits, rendering the distinction between indoors and outdoors uncertain and ambiguous. The shutters themselves can be perceived as having many dimensions. They demonstrate Ban’s ability to metamorphasize banal materials into proud architectural elements. They convey the circumstances and industrial context of the Chelsea area, being a distinct geometry that Ban singles out and extracts. Finally, they are the means by which the quest for the universal space is explored. Their position gradually blurs the relation between inside and outside, changes the viewpoint and deconstructs a volume that at first glance seems impenetrable. The non static nature of the shutters constantly changes the impression of the building in the neighborhood. Metal Shutter Houses can be seen as a solid metal box, strongly clad and fully closed to the surroundings. Gradually, they open up, being a filter of the environment, a moving edge that can perpetually change its position. If in Fallingwater the universal space was interpreted by walls and static glass panels that offer views to the outside, the shutters offer something more – the outside as a constantly changing barrier that is truly synthesized through continuous interaction and ever changeability rather than through a linear notion of borders. The visual depth is achieved and gradually revealed - the fourth dimension is explored.


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research thesis

The metropolar athens A N a p p l i cat i o n o f me t r o p o l a r i t i es as desc r i bed by E . W. s o ja w i t h i n at hens

Athens presents a challenging case when approached in socio – economic terms. It is often characterized as a metropolis without showcasing the qualities that modern day metropolises have. A metropolis is a place of great concentrations and an important financial and administrative node. In search of a guide to understand and interpret the distinct characteristics whose interaction and interrelation constitute a metropolis, the term metropolarity, as described by Edward W. Soja in “Postmetropolis, critical studies of cities and regions” is studied, analyzed and inserted into the Athenian landscape.

of the city’s suburban sprawl. Athens is not a metropolis in the traditional sense but certainly can be characterized as a primate city, a term that Saskia Sassen uses to describe cities with massive growth rates that dominate in a national level. Athens can also be characterized as generic as described by Rem Koolhaas: a city trapped in history and tradition, the place that must be the oldest and newest, the most defined and the most fluid at the same time. By further analyzing the bipole fractal city – exopolis as a result of data gathered for Athens, its state as a metropolis is questioned.

Metropolarities are the multiple dynamic axes that create and preserve the socio – economic inequalities within a city.

The research proves that Athens indeed possesses these metropolar qualities that make societies dynamic. The exopolis – fractal city dipole, as a description of the post-fordic evolution of the American metropolis was based on a solid and natural urban flow. In Athens, these practices were adopted without passing through a “fordism phase” – urban sprawl occurred without a significant financial growth. However, Athens showcases a significantly better immigrant dissimilation rate than the American metropolis, thus a power to receive and integrate new citizens and dynamics easier. Athens is metropolar. Realistic and on-time urban decisions can use the city’s inherent dynamic and render Athens from a historic artifact to a metropolis of the future.

Their study and insertion in the context of a city can reveal the new, multifaceted and fractal geometry modern metropolises possess. Despite the fact that metropolarities create social inequalities, the society itself creates these dynamic relations to ensure its survival. Metropolarities describe the fractal city in socio – economic terms, with the other pole being the exopolis – the spatial result 105


september 2009

Metropolarity 01 . Immigration . Social and national interpretation

Metropolarity 02 . Immigration . Spatial interpretation

Metropolarity 03 . Urban Sprawl

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research thesis

Metropolarity 04 . Socieites within a society

Metropolarity 05 . Uneven wealth distribution

Metropolarity 06 . Unemployment

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Dora Felekou GSAPP Columbia University MS Advanced Architectural Design dorafel.com, dora.felekou@gmail.com 519W 121st st. 10027 NY T. 917 699 8128


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