A playful wander through the ruined hospital of NIEN
Diploma project at the Department of Architecture, University of Patras (2022)
Architects: Eva Simitzi & Yro Tsirozidi
Supervisor Professor: Panos Dragonas
A new kind of park is proposed in a derelict public building, an abandoned hospital called NIEN in Melissia. Based on the theory of the Situationists, we designed a dérive, a game/saunter that takes the visitor into the imaginary world of the ruin. Three promenades are created, each telling a myth: The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the myth of Plato’s Cave and the myth of Ariadne’s thread. The different meanings of the myth have been translated into architectural elements, creating three distinct experiences whilst maintaining the context of the building. The common element of the three myths is the concept of loss. In order to fill this gap, a “lost paradise” is created on the roof, with the aim of being a reward in the game of life.
ORPHEUS & EURYDICE
The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice tells a tragic love story. Eurydice dies and, according to mythology, her soul goes to the underworld. Her lover, Orpheus, willing to sacrifice everything to save her, went down to the underworld to find her. Hades agreed to return her on one condition. As he ascended to the upper world, Orpheus would not look back. In the moment before his exit, he turned to make sure she was there and lost her forever.
THE ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE
The myth of the cave is an allegory by Plato that describes a group of people who have lived all their lives chained to a blank wall. Their sun was represented by a great fire that projected objects in front of them as shadows. These shadows were the prisoners’ reality, which could be perceived through vision. The only way to be saved was to follow the light of the real sun, to make contact with nature, water and earth, and finally to understand that their whole life had been a lie. However, the prisoners of the cave did not even want to leave their prison, because they did not know any better life.
The Myth of Ariadne’s Thread describes the heroic move of Theseus to get into the Labyrinth, that the king of Crete, Minoas, had built, in order to kill the mythic Minotaur, that lived inside. Each year seven Athenian men and seven women were sacrificed to the humanoid beast. In order for Theseus to find the way out of the Labyrinth alive, Ariadne gave him a thread to unfold until he had found the Minotaur and refold to escape from the maze. His altruistic act saved many lives and she saved his.