Diploma project at the Department of Architecture, University of Patras (2021)
Architects: Eirini Andri & Marina Andrioti
Supervisor Professor: Panos Dragonas
The changes that the pandemic brought to everyday life in the city during the quarantine period are the starting point of the project. Five speculative interventions are designed in Athens, specifically in Peristeri in 2024, with Miren-XY as the protagonist. The aim of the project is to understand the impact of the pandemic experience on everyday life in the cities.
Three years after the outbreak of the pandemic, a new mutation of COVID-19 appeared. The viral strains react with air pollutants to create the X mutation. Its rapid proliferation is the result of man’s greed to repair the economic damage caused by months of confinement. The X mutation disrupts the normal levels of happiness hormones in the sick person, which has a negative effect on their mental health. To combat the virus, meditation is becoming the dominant preventive measure for both older and younger people. Skipping this activity on a daily basis makes the person more susceptible to the disease and in case of infection, intensive treatment is required. Systematic monitoring of levels is carried out using an application that monitors hormones in real time and suggests appropriate measures to maintain normal levels. However, if the above recommendations are not followed, there is a risk of an uncontrolled spread of mutation X, which could lead to a society of unhappy people.
The narrative unfolds through five snapshots of Miren-XY’s life in Peristeri. Miren-XY first enters the “teleworking field” from where she works every day. This is a new domestic space that crosses the boundaries of the private and invades the public, as it hangs from the window of the apartment. The central element is a new piece of furniture that adapts to three locations, each supporting a different scenario.
She then visits the “Spir(itu)al Park”, the new meditation area. The labyrinth walk includes 5′ spiral slate paths totalling 100 metres in length. Over time this practice has become permanent and has resulted in the spiral evolving from a path in the ground to New Age architectural structures and symbols appearing in public space.
“Mediground Area” offers a similar meditation space for younger people. The conventional playground has been redesigned to act as a preventative measure, ensuring the activation of happiness hormones in the child’s body.
Miren-XY then observes the “Intensive Oxygen Production Gardens” from the window of her home. This is an integrated system of architectural cladding that is gradually being installed on the facades of the houses in Peristeri. Their vertical positioning helps to ensure good diffusion of light and natural shading of the apartments, as well as improving the air quality inside the residence. This proposal was made in an attempt to deal with the rapid air pollution caused by the outbreaks of mutation X.
Anyone who ignores the app’s request to meditate will be severely affected by the mutation and will end up in the ‘Rapid Recovery Unit’. This special unit has a circular floor plan and consists of a shell and an embossed floor. The floor follows a natural topography, creating hills and valleys that serve different treatment needs.