Arrival City | Options Studio

Option Studio: ARRIVAL CITY: Athens
Marc Simmons
Spring 2018

This studio was organized in partnership with The Home Project, a Greek nonprofit that provides shelter and support for unaccompanied minors who have arrived in Athens and will temporarily or permanently live there. Typically, the Home Project rents three-storey apartments and converts them into shelters for 16 to 30 children. With the Home Project, we developed a brief for a new construction that would house 80 children.

Our proposal is for a collection of four houses that are each designed for 20 children. The houses sit on top of a shared ground floor with a large kitchen, school/dining/event space, and gym, all of which sit within the perimeter wall of an old building in Athens.

The houses are designed using a collection of room-blocks that can be stacked and offset around shared living rooms and generous circulation spaces. This collection of room-blocks could be adapted to different sites or site conditions.

We addressed the challenge of 80 youths living in close quarters by using the room-blocks to shape various scales of personal and shared space, and then providing soft elements that could either close or open the space further.

Typical Athenian CMU and concrete slab construction is paired with colourful metals, ornamental balustrades, and sun-shading vines.