Our company, Dalkafouki Oikos, has undertaken the sponsorship for the creation of the exhibits of the exhibition “Boulevard de la Société des Nations / A.K.A. The Aristotle Axis in Thessaloniki” presented at Bey Hammam from June 30 to November 21, 2021, as part of the 17th Venice Architecture Biennale 2021. Below you can read the official press release:
The proposal for the “Boulevard de la Société des Nations / A.K.A. The Aristotle Axis in Thessaloniki” by the teaching staff of the School of Architecture A.U.Th — comprised of Nikos Kalogirou, Themis Chatzigiannopoulos, Maria Dousi, Dimitris Kontaxakis, Sofoklis Kotsopoulos and Dimitrios Thomopoulos — was chosen by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy to represent Greece in the 17th Biennale of Architecture of Venice in 2021. The national commissioner is Efthymios Bakoyannis, the ministry’s Secretary General.
The Greek participation attempts to provide an answer to the exhibition’s key question of “How will we live together?”, which explores a new spatial social contract necessary in the context of rising economic, social and political inequality through a presentation of the architectural and the urban-planning approach reflected in the axis of Aristotle Street. The axis was a grand political gesture of urban modernization designed as a multicultural crossroads by the French architect and urban planner Ernest Hébrard exactly 100 years ago.
Two sections of the exhibition will run in parallel, at the Greek Pavilion in Venice and in situ at Bey Hamam in the area of Aristotle Street.
The exhibition at the Greek Pavilion in Venice focuses on the current function of the Aristotle Street axis, attempting to demonstrate the spatial coexistence of native residents, visitors, migrants and refugees. The debate on the present state and the future reformation of modern-Greek cities is condensed in this emblematic transverse axis of today’s Thessaloniki.
The exhibition at Bey Hamam in Thessaloniki is a detailed presentation of the research carried out by the University of Thessaloniki with the participation of selected students from all over Greece, who built models of the building of the Aristotle St axis in their original form and the City Hall, as well as detailed geographic maps for facilitating an urban-planning study. The historically unbroken metropolitan function of this public space has a central position in the palimpsest of modern Thessaloniki. The perforated signs of the exhibits coexist with the special space of the monument, while the 5.5m-long models replicate the original vision of the Hébrard team.
The exhibition was realized with the valuable cooperation of the University of Thessaloniki, the Thessaloniki International Fair, the Ephorate of Thessaloniki Antiquities, the City of Thessaloniki and especially of the Thessaloniki History Center. The proposed parallel actions and events are to culminate in the autumn, if circumstances allow it.