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Transformable Vertical Village

Transformable Vertical Village

The urban congregation of ship containers named "bidonville horizontal Skyscraper" or "vertical mobile village" or "scaffold city" or "Escape - Hell Palace" is a quick solution for temporary housing responding to the needs of new residential areas in Hymetus, Athens, Greece. It is conceived as a "housing library", where the units that form the ensemble can change place. The structure is conceived as a high, three dimensional infrastructure grid that can receive ready made elementary homes, hosted in ship containers through an interior solution that allows the units to plug in the village's infrastructure. The construction is proposed as a part of a complex urban proposal that challenges a new strategy for the center of Athens. As it is already known in some of its parts the center of Athens is emptied from its previous functions. Many of the Athens center proprietors do not rent out their offices, stores and apartments, still believing that they can reach high prices even if the Greek economy has collapsed. The proposal functions as a strategic obligatory space redistribution that is controlled by the state or the municipality and gives to the landlords some space in this vertical village in return for their ground floor shops or offices that are temporarily expropriated, in order that the city center starts functioning again.

The complex is a dismountable and expandable metallic 3d grid that can allow the insertion of ship containers or other keg-like units to its infrastructure through a sophisticated elevator and rolling belt system. The mobile village can also function as an Urban camping structure, permitting the rent of its available places to whom wants to use its sophisticated infrastructure for some months. Its inhabitants may move with their homes to other cities that could include scaffold suburbs of this type. In a micro level inhabitants can also compose larger ensembles by uniting ship containers in order to form more complex compositions of more than one containers; there can be homes constituted of two, three or four containers arranged together.

Architect: Aristide Antonas
Collaborators: Katerina Koutsogianni and Stefanos Filippas

About the "Escape - Hell Palace"

The building is proposed as a comment for the growing needs of housing spaces in the periphery of cities that receive uncontrolled numbers of people from all over the world, such as Athens. The project seems to inaugurate a double look to an urban model of a sophisticated, provided with contemporary infrastructure, bidonville. The urban congregation of ship containers named "bidonville horizontal Skyscraper" or "vertical mobile village" or "scaffold city" or "Escape - Hell Palace" provides a quick solution for temporary housing responding to the needs of new residential areas in Hymetus, Athens, Greece. It is conceived as a "housing library", where the units that form the ensemble can interchange places. The structure is conceived as a high, three dimensional infrastructure grid that can receive ready made elementary homes, hosted in ship containers through an interior solution that allows the units to plug in the village's infrastructure. It is constituted as a built contradiction that includes in the same time two different aspects of the same building: the representation of the unsocial character of the next impossible urban conditions and in the same time the frame of a construction that includes the characteristics of a "luxury" settlement: sea view, swimming pool, small but comfortable housing units, network facilities.

The construction is a part of a complex urban proposal that challenges new strategies for the center of Athens. As it is already known, in some of its parts the center of Athens is emptied from its previous functions. Many of the Athens center proprietors do not rent out their offices, stores and apartments, still believing that they can reach high prices even if the Greek economy has collapsed. The proposal functions is the visible part of an invisible legislative project that aims to a strategic, obligatory space redistribution, controlled by the state or the municipality, giving to the landlords space in the vertical village in return for their ground floor shops or offices. This means that the owners have some time to rent their apartments in different prices or their flats are temporarily expropriated, in order that the city center starts functioning again. The Escape - Hell Palace is a part of the same regulatory mechanism whose character may be defined through an idiosyncratic urban curating. The acting power of such mechanism is the most important part of the project: the legislative possibilities serve as an open call for the institunalization of community powers and new legislations that can define different understandings of the city "common ground".

The complex is a dismountable and expandable metallic 3d grid that can allow the insertion of ship containers or other keg-like units as plug-ins to its infrastructure through a sophisticated elevator and rolling belt system. The mobile village can also function as an Urban camping structure, permitting the rent of its available places to whom wants to use its sophisticated infrastructure for some months. Its inhabitants may move with their homes to other destinations that could host scaffold suburbs of this type. In a micro level inhabitants can also compose larger ensembles by unifying ship containers in order to form more complex compositions of more than one containers; there can be homes or working spaces constituted of two, three or four containers arranged together.

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