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Athens-scape: The 2004 Olympics and the Metabolism of the City
Tessera was invited to design an exhibition exposing the transforming urban landscape of Athens in preparation for the 2004 Olympics, with exhibits for all three RIBA main galleries. I was involved in the general design of the exhibition and particularly the installation in Florence Hall, the central gallery. Questions/Aims/Objectives The design aimed to strengthen existing visual links between the three galleries and conceived of the visitor's experience as an allegorical journey, reflecting my own research interest in architectural allegory. Contexts The design provided an opportunity to test two research interests, architecture as inhabited drawing and the expansion of the picture plane, which here found an incarnation in the Florence Hall central window, dominating the space. Through anamorphic projection, a hinged reflection of the window’s grid arranged the exhibits on a horizontal surface at table height, representing Athens’s shifting architectural landscape. Methods During the design process, I used animation as a research method. Directing space through time became a tool for drawing forth themes of transformation and metabolism, key to the Athens Olympics, and an allegorical journey leading to the design of exhibits that integrated solid objects with moving images. Dissemination/Esteem The exhibition catalogue includes a short text by Tessera: 'Exhibition Design', Athens-scape: The 2004 Olympics and the Metabolism of the City (London: RIBA, 2003). Reviews: Clare Melhuish, Architects’ Journal, (15 May 2003), pp. 24-25; Thomas Muirhead, Building Design, 1577 (2 May 2003). I was invited to guest-edit a special section of Blueprint, looking at the past/present/future of Athenian architecture, to include an authored essay: Penelope Haralambidou, 'New Architecture in the City of White Noise', Blueprint, 222 (August 2004), pp. 46–49. Authorship ‘Athens-scape: The 2004 Olympics and the Metabolism of the City’ is a design project by Tessera, an architectural collaboration of four members, each of which contribute equally: Anthony Boulanger, Penelope Haralambidou, Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Eduardo Rosa.
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