Kassandras 20 is the physical site of KASSANDRAS. It is five stories high. It has a basement. It is organized in the typology of the polykatoikia. It is made of reinforced concrete. It is a rectangular prism. Its missing walls, for the time being, act as enormous open windows. Its incompleteness makes the boundary between its interior space and its surrounding environment ambiguous and dialectic. Kassandras 20 (the building) imposes itself in a starkly evident, physical sense. KASSANDRAS (the project) imposes a state of flux and new scales of temporality that feed from the static shell.
The building is a perfect mock up to experiment with modular systems and sustainable schemes, and to explore new strategies of intervention in what already exists : the abandoned.
The abandoned deals with the found and the re-appropriation of existing circumstances. These can include objects, materials, histories and myths, programmatic functions, typologies, the surrounding environment, even the building itself. The abandoned is at the same time a useful starting point for the implementation of design strategies and an aesthetically charged artefact that elicits poetic architectural responses. These draw from the specificity and starkness of found characteristics that are subsequently decoded, re-composed, taken literally or are strangely interpreted. Fundamentally tied to the existing, the adaptation of the abandoned is an experiment in immersion resulting in an architectural response defined by situationally integrated signification.
Between re-appropriation and parasitizing, the idea of a halt is taking over a permanent settlement.
With its in-house facilities to develop, prototype and produce, responding thus to a variety of construction needs, KASSANDRAS' methodology is thought as a horizontal practice, engaging with a variety of disciplines. Each design or technical issue is addressed through a workshop program involving students and practitioners where we can build a common field, learn from each others, try out, do mistakes, and, eventually, find ideas or solutions that can be directly applied on site, but also expanded further for a wider use.
Kassandras decided to map craftsmanships, workshops and inventory sites and trades operating around theirApplied first to Votanikos, we are expanding our network of local talents to the city of Athens and its surrounding area with an ambition to become a resource pool offering direct access to a variety of recommended professionals.
What could seem an archaism, a survival of a world disappearing is in fact an asset, an essentiel part of the future of Athens. The practices of makers (artists, designers, architects, inventors, geeks, etc...) pass now by a reappropriation of the means of production, and for this reason they must be ideally small and located in downtown area. By attending these places, it appears that more and more Athenian and foreign makers find their interest to produce in Athens. Kassandras accompany this movement by creating a tool which cartography and facilitates the access to these places.
This selection is the result of years of collaboration and remains subjective. To this map a lexicon of technical words translated in about ten languages will be added (Greek, French, German, Italian, English, Albanian,Bulgarian, Roumanian, Russian, Yugoslavian, Arabic and Urdu). This corpus of a hundred words will be accompanied by a small photograph or small technical illustration. The purpose of this lexicon is to help people not speaking Greek or not well enough to communicate what they are searching for, these words being often absent from online dictionaries. It will equally include words of components, materials and words describing machining processes and transformation of material.
curated by Benoit Durandin, James Bridle, Matthieu Prat & Thanassis Benos-Palmer
Within the conceptual framework of urban regeneration, KASSANDRAS aims to programmatically incorporate a prototypical approach to urban farming in the abandoned concrete skeletons of the Athenian cityscape. The basic function of producing fresh food is considered fundamental to a localized approach of urban inhabitation and sustainability. KASSANDRAS acts as a small scale test-bed of including farming in the functional program of a building in an urban context.
ριφιλ is KASSANDRAS’ first move regarding the question of mixed-use and multifunctional buildings. Beginning as a « festive »and workshop based program, it will slightly open a field where innovative practices can be try-out and experiment in urban environment. A field where culture, food and science can work « life-size » and produce a sustainable future through urban-farming, local market and design.
ριφιλ is a bi-monthly event. Establishing it-self as a rendez-vous for chefs, food-activists, agronomists, producers, seed dealer, gardeners, green-designers, food-lovers, Dj’s… A Sunday hang-out around food, drinks and music where late-nighters, families and the neighborhood can be refilled.
Starting December 2016, KASSANDRAS is hosting Options FoodLab bi-weekly public workshops and gatherings. Options FoodLab is a community of locals and newcomers, using food and cooking as a catalyst for intercultural exchange, personal growth, and integration.
Thanassis Benos-Palmer Student at Patras Architecture school, and initiator of the Hellastock Festival, the Greek edition of Bellastock Festival dedicated to experimental architecture.
Anne Davidian Curator and founder of Praxis Matters, a tool for practical research investigating contemporary forms of artistic practice. Bringing together practitioners from various backgrounds, Praxis Matters is an invitation to share experiences and working strategies, test concepts, forms and tools, open up new inquiries. The project seeks to explore in depth the vocabulary, operating modes, and economies of current artistic practices.
Eleni Hamilton McKirahan
Eleni is an Architect Engineer. She completed her professional degree at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2015 and her post-graduate course of study at the Design+Make MArch program at the Architectural Association in 2017. She currently lives and works in Athens, Greece.
Eva is an Architect Engineer. She completed her professional degree at the National Technical university of Athens in 2016. She has also studied and practiced in Barcelona focusing on urban planning, landscape and urban design. Eva is interested in matters of public space and processes of participatory design. She is currently living and working in Athens.
Matthieu Prat Designer and founder of Diplomates, a multi-disciplinary studio working across architecture, design, and visual art. Developing projects of varying scales, from micro-architecture, installations or stage design, the studio applies its methodology within a number of contexts in order to produce specific territories. KASSANDRAS is the Athens-based chapter of Diplomates.