During my final year in Athens school of architecture, I elaborated my final project of studies. This thesis is an attempt of intervention at a point of extreme importance in Athens, at the Ippios Colonos hill in Colonus. The hill today remains unrecognized and operates at a local level. Our goal is to enhance and revitalize in the network of archaeological sites of Athens through its historical and mythological significance, which currently remains un- known to the public. From antiquity to modern times, Colonus is being described as a place of great natural beauty, an image com- pletely different from today. Beyond its historical significance, as it is close to important archaeological sites such as the Academy of Plato, the hill belongs to mythological topography of Athens, as the place where old and blind Oedipus arrives in the tragedy of Sophocles ‘Oedipus at Colonus’.
Through the tragedy, the hill is presented as a boundary of the city, as a passage to the underworld, but also as a sacred place with unique natural beauty. By using the text as an important tool of modern design, we present an experiential way of allowing the viewer to perceive the landscape through the discourse and narrative, the other senses and the direction of gaze. The description of Athens and the landscape natural beauty, the concept of blindness, sanctity and transition gave us the tools to configure this path on the hill.
Our intervention consists of several networks of trails, an outdoor sum- mer theater and a small cafeteria in order to enable the function of the hill not only at a local level, but also at a supra-local level. One of the trails designed on the hill is the network inspired by the tragedy ‘’Oedipus at Colonus’’, which is di- vided in four phases. These phases represent the different situations that Oedipus has to deal with in the tragedy, and consist of his arrival at the hill, the landscape acknowledgment by the description of his daughter, the controversy he re- ceives by the local residents, and finally his chronic ending followed by his death.
Katerina Psimmenou – Gianna Papapavlou
Athens School of Architecture 2014