Unfinished Buildings: Design Activism in Athens

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Unfinished Buildings: Design Activism in Athens

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


Student Hub, Abercrombie, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


Unlike the “ruins of once-completed structures” (Virilio, 2008: 9), unfinished buildings – buildings that have been halted during their construction for a range of reasons and that sit in limbo – are becoming more common in some developed European countries that are now in a state of economic decline or stagnation. Intrigued by the ruinous “beauty […] which could have been” (Augé, 2003), unfinished buildings are prompting a new strand of architectural research centred on documentation and design research. “Unfinished Italy’ (Dir. Felici, 2011) maps incomplete public buildings in Giarre, Sicily to propose a participatory regeneration project entitled ‘The Archaeological Park’. In Venezuela, Caracas’s 45-story unfinished office Tower of David Brillembourg is studied by Urban-Think Tank (Brillembourg et.al., 2012). This lecture maps an on-going research project centred on unfinished buildings which has taken place in Athens (2014-15) and Madrid (2015-16). Through design research, ‘Unfinished Athens’, the subject of this lecture, attempts to unlock the social, cultural and architectural futures of a selection of incomplete buildings in Athens. It asks: how can architects working with unfinished buildings engage with building life cycles, impermanence and permanence, waste, material reuse and formal and informal site occupation to create socially, culturally and economically responsible property development in Athens?


Dr. Igea Troiani - School of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University