Over-Polykatoikia

Project Title: Over-Polykatoikia | Year: 2009 | Status: Research Project | Institution: Harvard University Graduate School of Design | Supervisor: Ciro Najle | Program: housing, public space, infrastructure

Poly-katoikia (from the greek poly(πολύ) = multi, katoikia(κατοικία) = apartment unit) is a multi – storey apartment building based on the corbusian domino type: a system of stacked floors connected by a staircase and an elevator shaft. We can easily argue that poly-katoikia is the ideal building typology for living in the city: not very tall (7-8 floors is its maximum height), not very dense, not programmatically overloaded, with private balconies and a ground floor that supports the main programmatic activities of the city. Over-polykatoikia is a project that deals with the transformation of the specific building type into a machine for generating new urban forms. The basic argument of the projects follows the paradoxical relationship between this building type and the city that we find latent in contemporary Athens: despite being an efficient housing type for habitation, despite being the ideal building for the birth and the existence of public space, it has always had a tendency to disorganise the urban tissue of the city leading eventually to the annihilation of the idea of public. Through its infinite proliferation, through its perpetual transformation on the field, poly-katoikia is a violent attack to its very own child, the city. 8 parameters of polykatoikia are used here. Four of them are quantitative (building constraints) and are based on the greek building regulation system: coverage, maximum height, maximum height of facade on the street and distance between plots. The other four are qualitative (building elements) and represent the basic characteristics of polykatoikia: voids area, balconies area, set back angle and vertical shafts area. Based on observations on the actual building type, those parameters are manipulated to generate a 20×20 matrix of information that leads to form. A system-fabric of 400 buildings is then created.