Made in Athens

10 September, 2012

Made in Athens

The Greek entry this year looked for and presented Architecture in the spotlight. A Greek Architecture that does not turn its back to its weaknesses, but tries instead to face and confront them.Cry

By Vassilis Mistriotis

Greek version

A journey into architectural thinkingt. Maybe this is how we could characterize an architect's visit at the Venice Architecture Biennale. A city, that while exhausts a visitor, hosts the avant-garde of architectural design every couple of years.

The 13th Biennale, with "common ground" as its main theme this time, constitutes - or at least its organizers hoped in succeeding - a determination towards a new philosophy, a viable relationship with issues regarding global crisis. An event, that this time, did not pursue, as usual, the avant-guard but a whole new theoretical approach.

But was it really that way?

Local as well as - and most importantly - global media took this motto on board and broadcasted it way too literal, an action that kind of brought to mind Tsarouhis's own statement "you are what you say you are." A message that truly ignites the dialogue within the architectural community, not necessarily targeted though as well towards all those who possess an "architectural brand name".

Interviews and pompous statements at the background and the privacy of the six-star hotels, the non common places in a non common ground, about an architectural approach which evidently seduces the mighty, but inevitably turns its back to the non-potent.

Celebrity architects, like every other celebrity types of our times, not only he refuses to adjust as far as the economic crisis is concerned, but sometimes the only adjustment is his paycheck - upwards. And this is a well known fact in history.

The views of Italian Professor Vittorio Gregotti, as these have been captured in our interview for, are perhaps amongst the most overwhelming moments of our presence at the Biennale.

He points out, among others,

"Postmodernism is based on the perception that the architect is a mirror of capitalism. Architects have mimicked and accepted for themselves this situation without adding that necessary critical approach, absolutely essential for reality matters."

And continues,

"Architects are not company service providers as the European Union tends to call them. Architects provide an artistic outcome." (The interview that Professor Gregotti gave us will be transmitted in the forthcoming days.)


Made in Athens
The Greek entry this year looked for and presented Architecture in the spotlight. A Greek Architecture that does not turn its back to its weaknesses, but tries instead to face and confront them.


Photos : Mpampis Louizidis - Katerina Glinou.

Panos Dragonas and Anna Skiada focused on proposals, which as a whole, frame and ultimately reflect the condition of architecture, not only in Athens but within Greece in total.

"Common Ground" at the Greek Pavilion not only is successfully expressed, but is the main protagonist as the pavilion's visitor is invited to take "a walk into the city", a metaphoric parameter that the curators cleverly integrated in its design.

Maybe some projects, the unbuilt ones in particular, lack in implementation, they are integrated though into the brave and fertile view of the curators to choose even non established architects.

It is the second time that attended the Venice Biennale and would like to thank the curators for the invitation. It has been a very special experience that we hope every architect is given the opportunity to do so as well.

Finally, it is our privilege, as part of our participation to the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, to broadcast through our site a documentary film dedicated to the Greek entry. The curators and visitors have spoken extensively about the presented work.


Vasilis Mistriotis, architect
Editor in Chief,


Made in Athens. Greek pavilion press conference at biennale di venezia 2012.

Photos : Mpampis Louizidis - Katerina Glinou.


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