Open Stage

LoT_ATHENS URBAN MARKET_Image 01

LoT was invited by Athens Voice to submit a design for an urban market in the city of Athens, Greece. The market, once a place for social and communal provocation, has been reduced over the centuries. LoT designed individual circular booths, open for occupation by individuals or groups. Each circular pavilion, bound by a semi-permeable surface of flexible white wires, creates a sense of equality, an omnidirectional approach that allows relationships of entry/exit and spectator/participant to become blurred. As such, the market becomes an open show, an urban installation.

LoT_ATHENS URBAN MARKET_GIF

The market, once a place for social and communal provocation, has been reduced over the centuries, altered into its current typology – a space based primarily on the viewing, sale, and purchase of products from pre-specified vendors occupying pre-assigned positions in a pre-designated configuration.

1313_131025_Pavilion Drawings

This iteration that we are familiar with today typically takes the form of a series of stalls arranged in a line or grid, designed for efficiency of movement and maximization of vendor presence. Elongated linear paths form a showroom through which traffic flows continuously. Separated by these movements, each stall operates on a traditional served/server relationship. The prescriptive nature of these movements and interactions diminishes the opportunity for happenstance, reducing the market condition to familiar banality. A re-imagining is in order.

LoT_ATHENS URBAN MARKET_Image 02

A new model, embedded with social intention, might promote greater interaction, confidence, and communication, establishing a space where the exchange of not only products, but also views, perspectives, and ideas flourish. The market as an agora, a place of synthesis covering communicative and social needs. An individual pavilion might house the traditional sale of items, but could also contain a pop-up workshop, an art display, an open kitchen for communal cooking, or even a simple library annex, creating a unique network of experiences. A market that is extroverted, multifunctional, and flexible, capable of accommodating vendors, collective activities, installations, discussions, and urban serendipity.

LoT_ATHENS URBAN MARKET_drawings 3

In order to promote more opportunistic interactions and to break down typical role relationships, LoT designed individual circular booths, open for occupation by individuals or groups. Each circular pavilion, bound by a semi-permeable surface of flexible white wires, creates a sense of equality, an omnidirectional approach that allows relationships of entry/exit and spectator/participant to become blurred.
LoT_ATHENS URBAN MARKET_drawings 2
Enhancing this, LoT employs a simple shift of the roof surface, an action that creates moments where a passerby might be under the roof of the pavilion without being physically inside of it. Beyond a singular stall, the arrangement of kiosks is intentionally free and flexible. Changing its configuration with frequency, a series of overlapping and interweaving movements emphasizes exploration and interaction through non-prescriptive directions and unintended destinations. As such, the market becomes an open show, an urban installation.

LoT_ATHENS URBAN MARKET_image4

Architect: LoT
Project Team: Leonidas Trampoukis (Partner in charge), Eleni Petaloti, Brandon Maldonado (project leader)
Commissioner: ATHENS VOICE, Greece
Site: Monastiraki Square, Athens
Total built area: 125 m²
Project Year: 2013