28 Dec 2015

How to transform a space through the use of narrative

Project: Burst City, Competition The long walls

Location: Athens, Greece

Year: 1998

Team: Alain Guiheux, Dominique Rouillard, Eric Bartolo, Aubin Frechón, Laurent Lagadec, Nicolas Ourdas, Nana Poirel

A contemporary ruin

The current site and its activity is transformed into a modern ruin. It makes an axis that joins the Long Walls of Athens and terminates the current activity. It is ancient archeology and archeology of the present. The abandoned and ruined land becomes an enchanted place with a surrealistic scenery of pasts distant from each other. But all the facilities will be decidedly contemporary: form(al) strategies will not be used.

9 feat

5 actions
Theese are the only actions implemeted

The buildings are abandoned but still visitable.
Interventions an artistic creations takes place.

The building is reassigned and slightly modified, for example with a new colour.

Only one wall is kept, a facade from enterprises to isolate noise or to guide views.

The building is totally demolished; rubble is left intact or removed.

The building is demolished.
The rubble is crushed and makes a realistic reading of a platform, a new floor that is a layer of the past.


  • The area is declared inconstructible.
  • Land not listed for sale.

  • The area is made pedestrian.
  • Maintenance is stopped.
  • Rich agricultural crops are reintroduced into certain lands.


  • Large nets are installed, strong lights highlight the area.
  • Wet and misty atmospheres are created.

9.4.1 9.4.2 9.4.3

  • A development plan was announced for the surrounding land, external to the Long Walls.
  • Activities and cultural functions are installed: sports trails, bike paths, thematic walks, outdoor cinema, beaches, baths, solariums rowing and sailing for children


The project was successful.


Involuntary public space

The project has resulted in a desertification of the area – becoming a new type of public space; a large surreal oasis of freedom and fun. This space has more or less no relation to the rest of the city. It is an undefined space, flexible to be used in accordance to each voluntary thought or desire. It is urban planning of unaccounted spaces.