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False Ruin(s)-ism

 Architecture Competition | Cities in Balance | Ministry of Culture 

1st prize  Lefkada, Greece


Investigating the first data and information found, we came across a possible root of the name “Alexandros”. There is a connection between the name’s origin and that of bishop’s Alexandros. He was one of the three Holy Fathers who consecrated in the hermitage of the region (Hermitage of the Holy Fathers). Etymologically and without any necessary association with a religion or doctrine, an ascetic is said to be one who practices/exert himself. In asceticism as a concept the self is at the center of human activity. The philosophical outgrowth of the study of the self through the attribution of a particular form ars vivendi. Life complemented our discourse as we committed several visits to the area trying to integrate it into our architectural narrative.

The interpretation of the area as a hermitage is confirmed by its matriculation as worth protecting heritage. The process/attempt to keep the characteristics of the settlements unchanged reveals conditions beyond those of architectural, environmental and landscape conservation and restoration. Having a strong compositional quality, this decision leads to the dismantling of elements that are not coherent with the characteristics of the settlement and at the same time to its isolation from social spatial realities that have not yet appeared. In such a condition, the flourishing of temporary-periodic occupation of the settlement is to be expected, a situation which dictates the possible introduction of similar conventions in the public space.By diagnosing isolation as framework we seek (being inclusive because of the process) our spatial tools. The elements we propose appear as architectural ruins of future processes of isolation and are distanced (in nature and not in position) from the monuments of the settlement without affecting them (in nature and position).


This composition process leads us inevitably to the next two acts of the proposed project. First, the inclusion of man in the composition, not only as a specification but as an integral part of it. Human as a subject investigates space, assembles it, places his body in a kinesthetic whole which participates in our spatial intention. He crosses information thresholds, walks over them, bends, stoops, rises, the information appears at various heights without depending on the height of his personal reading. In addition, in case the user approaches the settlement via vehicle the signage perceives his speed, the difference in perspective, his minimum perception time and as a fence reflects the hum of the vehicle differently, and the signage becomes sound. The second act is completed through the implicit demand for social events in the public space of the settlement. The purpose of the proposed forms is to contribute to the social events of the settlement and to list a number of other possible and mutable ones.

The elements of our project stem from the idea of isolation, trying to create interactions between residents/visitors and objects, creating a unique spatial experience. At the same time the objects are influenced by the physiognomy of the landscape, the history of the place and also respect the building background of the settlements seeking to enhance it. Our aim is to create places that are addressed to human activity, encourage social interaction and promote the development of collective memory. Through this process where man is an actor and an affected being, not just a spectator but a creative agent, socially and individually, human participation and existence acts as the custodian of the landscape, history and physiognomy of the area. Finally, memory in the present proposal is outlined through its traces. It interacts with the settlement as a monument, as a set of social events, as a legal entity through protocols, aiming at the emergence of memory as a mental and material construction that runs through the past, present and future.

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