Zenghelis Studio: Student Perspectives

DAPHNE BINDER (M. ARCH ‘16)
Thessaloniki begs to question the lens through which architects, cities and communities plan their futures. The studio sets out to bring form, color and content to Thessaloniki’s long-time desire—a metropolitan park. The park—as well as the “ buildings in the park” paradigm—can contain a richness of program and form that can only be discovered by delving into the project. Thus, we build on the city’s concrete plans and pour in our own ideas to envision both a new city center and a new city. Away from the site, we find ourselves holding town–hall style meetings where Thessaloniki’s residents preside over us, embodied in drawings and models that exhibit their frustration when things don’t work. Constantly, we are torn between working within the limitations of the city, our self-prescribed regulations and the development of individual projects. We have been given carte blanche, but our site is spotted with fragments of the recent and distant past to which we all try to relate. Characterized by a mixture of freedoms and obligations, the project offers its tangibility in a realm of large scale urban planning.

 

KRISTIN NOTHWEHR (M. ARCH ‘16)

Three Imaginary Conversations: 
INT. RUDOLPH HALL—NIGHT
Several students sit behind computers. A Greek flag flies overhead. KN is watching a basketball game, surrounded by discarded trace.
Anonymous Paprika Editor: What are
you doing?
KN I wish you’d lower the gun.
APE [fires single Nerf dart toward
the ceiling]
KN Okay! I’m designing a hotel, conference center, and assembly hall that provides an armature for public engagement with the economic and political forces that shape civic life. Congress halls are often monuments to clandestine political activity; I think this monumentality should serve the public realm. My project is adjacent to those of my colleagues, within a larger master plan that our group has proposed for Thessaloniki.
[Elia Zenghelis enters. APE leaves “for a
meeting.”]
EZ Kristin! What are you doing?
KN [minimizes window, telltale flash animation remains open]: I’m trying to define the counterpoint to the generic matrix of the hotel and convention spaces. Is it volumetric or a two-dimensional extrusion?
EZ It would be better if it were a sphere. However, we must really focus on our master plan! Did I ever tell you about the time Rem was nearly kicked out of the AA*?
Zenghelis Studio: [pulls up socks, now very stretched out from weeks of pulling up socks, commences week of intensive charrettes]
[Phone rings]
Kristin’s Mom: What are you doing? Have
you thought about what you’ll do after
graduation?
KN I thought I’d renovate your kitchen.
KM I’d like to see an image manifesto.
KN [faces camera, winks]

END SCENE.

* Facing expulsion from the AA, Koolhaas was told to pull up his socks.