Archipelago Cities



The geography of the Greek archipelago seems to reappear in the urban setting of Athens; the city is a translation of the archipelago landscape of the Cyclades. Hills and mountains float in its urban fabric in an approximated circle with the Acropolis sitting majestically on a gigantic piece of rock at the circle’s center. There is no single way to perceive this collection of hills and mountains. They are mostly perceived through their relation to the Acropolis or the periphery. Can we imagine a parallel urban archipelago using a different landscape as the inspiration? If Athens is the city that corresponds to the Cyclades “circular” archipelago, what kind of city would correspond to Hawaii, a “linear” archipelago?

Kawaii is an imaginary linear city built by the people of Hawaii and located in the ocean. It is autonomous and self contained.Kawaii’s urban fabric connects a linear series of hills of different programs and features that mysteriously resemble Hawaii’s linear collection of islands. The hills of Kawaii are experienced in a predefined sequence; the development of each specifically influences the hills on either side. The elongated side views of Kawaii reveal the hills in breathtaking simultaneity while the experience of the city depends on ones direction of movement. Due to the specific arrangement of the hills the perception and experience of Kawaii becomes objective.





status: commissioned by SAN ROCCO
team: Konstantinos Pantazis, Marianna Rentzou, Beth Hughes, Jean Sébastien Lebreton
year: 2011