architecture + technology

digital art center

Athens, Greece

Zeta Kachri with Zoe Stathaki
NTUA, dissertation project, 2006

The main purpose of this dissertation project was on the one hand to compose a shell that would be able to put digital art up and on the other to create a place where people could meet and discuss about issues that deal with this kind of art. The intense inexistence of such buildings in Greece and in whole world generally leads to a more experimental approach, because the needs of the building’s programme and the qualities of demanding areas come from a detailed research on digital art and are not based on existent information.

urban analysis

At first we made a research on placing the building, in which we finally decided to choose Metaksourgeio area, in the center of Athens. At Metaksourgeio, the whole history of Athens is reflected on its built environment clearly and can be easily recognized. A placement of a building that will be used for exhibiting digital art, would continue the presence of history in the city and would also be the latest link between them. In addition to that nowadays Greater Metaksourgeio has been transmuted into a cultural pole that has obtained special dynamics in capital’s life generally. In particular, in terms of the historic building of Metaksourgeio’s factory, it has been decided by the municipality of Athens, to be reformed and accept cultural activities. Therefore a new cultural pole will be created and the area will be upgraded in the future.
Digital art center is placed in between Millerou and Germanikou streets at the opposite side of the historic building of Metaksourgeio’s factory and close to Avdi and Dourouti squares. Its position assists the oncoming upgrade by creating a strong cultural dipole, which refers to digital art on the one side and different kinds of art that are going to be exhibited to the historic building in the future, on the other.

digital art forms analysis

Secondly we made a research to the forms of digital art, in order to create a building programme that would be appropriate for obliging the needs and demands of digital art. Digital art can have many different forms, from which the most popular are interactive art, video art, animation, internet art, digital photography, digital illustration, pixel art, graphic design, game design, digital painting, movie special effect, VJ- video performance art, installation art, performance art, sound art and electronic music.

functionality / movement diagrams

In order to supply the spatial needs of digital art’s different forms, we decided to compose different kind of spaces, that each of them could involve a specific kind of art and could also be characterized of a certain quality, into a unified building. As a result of this operation, the exhibition is divided into three parts. The two of them are underground, so as to be independent of environmental effects and be formed by art actually. Specifically one part could be used for interactive art, video art and digital installations and the other, the concert hall, could be used for electronic music, performances and movies with special effects and animation. Digital photography and other forms of art that are focused on more static images can be exhibited at the third part, which is above the ground. The building except from the exhibition parts includes a lab, a café-bar close to concert hall, a sales department and a managerial area.

The main subject of our research was to accomplish a transition from incorporeal and liquid digital art to a three-dimensional real space. So, in some sense, space should become liquid and allow the users to move independently through a certain but also endless net, just like it happens to internet. In order to achieve that kind of movements we designed an oblong that consists of oblique and horizontal surfaces. This module by multiplication would organize the space and the liquid movements through it. Certain points at the ends of the oblong are used so as to transfer the user from one activity to another without time interrupt.

The materials that are used correspond to the different activities and create a dualism between exhibition and non exhibition areas. Movement seems to converse with standing, light with shadow and built space with empty one. Concrete and glass form exhibition areas while some kind of enlightened material forms the non-exhibition. Glass and enlightened material have the advantage to leave the sunlight come through but at night by artificial lighting spread light to the city and reveal its inerior. As a result the building is used for digital art exhibition but can also exhibit itself to the city’s walkers.

Comments are closed.