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DEFINITION
SOLIDARITY

THE NOTION OF UNITY AND COHESION OF A COMMUNITY OR SOCIETY OR THE STATE OF INTERDEPENDENCE, SUPPORT AND ABSOLUTE LOYALTY OF TWO OR MORE INDIVUALS.


SOLIDARITY IN GREECE



While during the past few years – especially since 2008, when the crisis kicked off in Greece, and Europe in general – Greece has been dealing with great economic and political difficulties, with the state ever less capable of supporting their peoples, the Greek population has risen to the help of those most in need. Thus, organisations, largely consisting of people who have lost their jobs due to the crisis or who have decided to help those who need it most have been founded setting up free medical centres, clothes exchanges, meeting / social spaces, public ( charity or affordable ) kitchens, places where to get legal advice, teach, learn, etc.

POLYKATOIKIA


Greek:
Poly – multi
Katoikia – dwelling

The typology of the Polykatoikia was conceived in the 1930s and built through to the 80s as a multi-storey apartment building for different groups of Athens' fast-growing population. What with the migration into the cities combined with migration from Asia, Athens was suddenly flooded with workers in need of housing.

Land-developers bought lots in the city(centre) from less wealthy land-owners who by themselves would not have been able to build larger houses on it. The recent introduction of reinforced concrete and the sudden availability of large numbers of labour in the construction industry helped this model of building to be profitable to many involved.

Greek legislation played a leading role in the success of this system, encouraging the development of the city trough tax relief, adjuvant building regulations and property law, moreover stating that the original owners needed to receive an apartment within the houses that were being built on their grounds ( “antiparochi system” ). Thus, the Polykatoikia soon became the most dominant building typology in Athens.

The architecture of this building typology is fairly simple. It is, basically, the extension of Le Corbusiers Do-mino house, with a reinforced concrete frame of columns and slabs, plus an elevator shaft and staircase, that allows for flexible floor plans. During the post-war period, the structure of the Polykatoikias changed with the changes in social structures: now they were designed for nuclear families rather than more extensive ones.
The façade is characterised by horizontal balconies and repetition of the typical plan, resulting in a grid-structure.



Small scale businesses and services are located among smaller residential apartments on the lower floors.
Street life is extended into the building by shops and characteristic arcades.



The upper floors held middle- and upper-class apartments.
This mix of public and private realms but also different social groups living in the same building, sharing the same communal spaces ( foyer, staircase ) is one of the typical characteristics of the Polykatoikias.
The introduction of Polykatoikia buildings has greatly affected the skyline of Athens, hight limitations have created a new landscape.


Further information:
http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/2012/10/31/from-dom-ino-to-em-polykatoikia-em-.html
http://www.mascontext.com/tag/polykatoikia/
http://www.sgt.gr/en/programme/event/2180

POLYKATOIKIA


Greek:
Poly – multi
Katoikia – dwelling

The typology of the Polykatoikia was conceived in the 1930s and built through to the 80s as a multi-storey apartment building for different groups of Athens' fast-growing population. What with the migration into the cities combined with migration from Asia, Athens was suddenly flooded with workers in need of housing.

Land-developers bought lots in the city(centre) from less wealthy land-owners who by themselves would not have been able to build larger houses on it. The recent introduction of reinforced concrete and the sudden availability of large numbers of labour in the construction industry helped this model of building to be profitable to many involved.

Greek legislation played a leading role in the success of this system, encouraging the development of the city trough tax relief, adjuvant building regulations and property law, moreover stating that the original owners needed to receive an apartment within the houses that were being built on their grounds ( “antiparochi system” ). Thus, the Polykatoikia soon became the most dominant building typology in Athens.

The architecture of this building typology is fairly simple. It is, basically, the extension of Le Corbusiers Do-mino house, with a reinforced concrete frame of columns and slabs, plus an elevator shaft and staircase, that allows for flexible floor plans. During the post-war period, the structure of the Polykatoikias changed with the changes in social structures: now they were designed for nuclear families rather than more extensive ones.
The façade is characterised by horizontal balconies and repetition of the typical plan, resulting in a grid-structure.



Small scale businesses and services are located among smaller residential apartments on the lower floors.
Street life is extended into the building by shops and characteristic arcades.



The upper floors held middle- and upper-class apartments.
This mix of public and private realms but also different social groups living in the same building, sharing the same communal spaces ( foyer, staircase ) is one of the typical characteristics of the Polykatoikias.
The introduction of Polykatoikia buildings has greatly affected the skyline of Athens, hight limitations have created a new landscape.


Further information:
http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/2012/10/31/from-dom-ino-to-em-polykatoikia-em-.html
http://www.mascontext.com/tag/polykatoikia/
http://www.sgt.gr/en/programme/event/2180

POLYKATOIKIA


Greek:
Poly – multi
Katoikia – dwelling

The typology of the Polykatoikia was conceived in the 1930s and built through to the 80s as a multi-storey apartment building for different groups of Athens' fast-growing population. What with the migration into the cities combined with migration from Asia, Athens was suddenly flooded with workers in need of housing.

Land-developers bought lots in the city(centre) from less wealthy land-owners who by themselves would not have been able to build larger houses on it. The recent introduction of reinforced concrete and the sudden availability of large numbers of labour in the construction industry helped this model of building to be profitable to many involved.

Greek legislation played a leading role in the success of this system, encouraging the development of the city trough tax relief, adjuvant building regulations and property law, moreover stating that the original owners needed to receive an apartment within the houses that were being built on their grounds ( “antiparochi system” ). Thus, the Polykatoikia soon became the most dominant building typology in Athens.

The architecture of this building typology is fairly simple. It is, basically, the extension of Le Corbusiers Do-mino house, with a reinforced concrete frame of columns and slabs, plus an elevator shaft and staircase, that allows for flexible floor plans. During the post-war period, the structure of the Polykatoikias changed with the changes in social structures: now they were designed for nuclear families rather than more extensive ones.
The façade is characterised by horizontal balconies and repetition of the typical plan, resulting in a grid-structure.



Small scale businesses and services are located among smaller residential apartments on the lower floors.
Street life is extended into the building by shops and characteristic arcades.



The upper floors held middle- and upper-class apartments.
This mix of public and private realms but also different social groups living in the same building, sharing the same communal spaces ( foyer, staircase ) is one of the typical characteristics of the Polykatoikias.
The introduction of Polykatoikia buildings has greatly affected the skyline of Athens, hight limitations have created a new landscape.


Further information:
http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/2012/10/31/from-dom-ino-to-em-polykatoikia-em-.html
http://www.mascontext.com/tag/polykatoikia/
http://www.sgt.gr/en/programme/event/2180

POLYKATOIKIA


Greek:
Poly – multi
Katoikia – dwelling

The typology of the Polykatoikia was conceived in the 1930s and built through to the 80s as a multi-storey apartment building for different groups of Athens' fast-growing population. What with the migration into the cities combined with migration from Asia, Athens was suddenly flooded with workers in need of housing.

Land-developers bought lots in the city(centre) from less wealthy land-owners who by themselves would not have been able to build larger houses on it. The recent introduction of reinforced concrete and the sudden availability of large numbers of labour in the construction industry helped this model of building to be profitable to many involved.

Greek legislation played a leading role in the success of this system, encouraging the development of the city trough tax relief, adjuvant building regulations and property law, moreover stating that the original owners needed to receive an apartment within the houses that were being built on their grounds ( “antiparochi system” ). Thus, the Polykatoikia soon became the most dominant building typology in Athens.

The architecture of this building typology is fairly simple. It is, basically, the extension of Le Corbusiers Do-mino house, with a reinforced concrete frame of columns and slabs, plus an elevator shaft and staircase, that allows for flexible floor plans. During the post-war period, the structure of the Polykatoikias changed with the changes in social structures: now they were designed for nuclear families rather than more extensive ones.
The façade is characterised by horizontal balconies and repetition of the typical plan, resulting in a grid-structure.



Small scale businesses and services are located among smaller residential apartments on the lower floors.
Street life is extended into the building by shops and characteristic arcades.



The upper floors held middle- and upper-class apartments.
This mix of public and private realms but also different social groups living in the same building, sharing the same communal spaces ( foyer, staircase ) is one of the typical characteristics of the Polykatoikias.
The introduction of Polykatoikia buildings has greatly affected the skyline of Athens, hight limitations have created a new landscape.


Further information:
http://www.domusweb.it/en/architecture/2012/10/31/from-dom-ino-to-em-polykatoikia-em-.html
http://www.mascontext.com/tag/polykatoikia/
http://www.sgt.gr/en/programme/event/2180

CASE STUDY: EVRIPIDOU 14



In spite of communal efforts to supply the homeless of Athens' city centre with food and clothes, the situation remains precarious and does not seem likely to improve much any time soon. Therefore, protagonists like ours: a Greek couple in their sixties with their daughter, aided by five regularly involved volunteer workers, deserve high praise for endeavouring to feed an estimated 580 people twice weekly – for free.



Mr. Kostas Vitalakis and his wife have been doing charity work for years, he tells us, sometimes joining forces with friends who share the same goal of getting homeless people off the streets of Athens and back into a life with human dignity and higher chances of social compatibility and integration.

Back in 1991, when Mr. Vitalakis started doing volunteer work, he was a social worker at a local hospital, where he stayed until his recent retirement. While the core of his commitment was social work and stabilisation in the 90s, it has evolved to be much more than that since 2008. They moved continuously, into ever larger buildings with, as the years went by, facilities for the homeless to receive donated clothes, do their laundry and for personal hygiene. Since Mr. Vitalakis' retirement and with the knowledge that his work is now more essential than ever, he spends even more time on the solidarity project.
He strives to expand it, his latest ambition being that they should gain room for the homeless to stay overnight. This, however, is difficult since the building, up to the fifth floor, is used by the economic faculty of Athens' university and the remaining two floors do not have the capacity needed.
Nor does anyone involved have the kind of money to rent any more than the two storeys they are using now: the seventh is let to them for free as is the roof-deck of the building behind it which they are drying the clothes on.
This goes to show that most Greek charity workers are clearly at their ( financial ) limits, putting all of their efforts into helping – but all the solidarity of the people, it seems, cannot make up for the huge financial lack. Mr. Vitalakis confirms what we have seen in Omonia, the part of Athens this building is situated in: it is overflowing with homeless people.
There is no obvious solution, yet one will have to be found and positivity is the state of mind that needs to come with solidarity. After all, states of crisis are just turning points –

http://www.solidaritynow.org/
http://www.thereallifeproject.com/urban-gardening-in-athens/
http://www.fosphotos.com/index.gallery.php?gid=3655
http://www.praksis.gr/en/about-praksis


Lower Floor





The Kitchen

...was installed a couple of years ago when the smaller kitchen that used to be on the top floor no longer complied with the increasing amounts of food needed.




The Hall

...is where the food is being served on folding tables which are cleared away at the end of each meal. There are volunteer workers in their late teens and early twenties working with a routine that suggests that they are there often. Everyone is peaceful and friendly.?[We didn't want to take photos of the homeless for reasons of privacy and discretion]



Upper Floor





Sanitary Facilities

...two showers and four washing machines are available.




The Clothes Exchange Rooms

...clothes are donated and distributed.



The Roof-deck Opposite

...here, they hang their washing to dry



Their Own Roof-deck

…is equipped with photovoltaic elements that generate enough power for heating and electricity of the project and water tanks and has more space for drying clothes or enjoying the stunning panorama of Athens. Using the top floors has benefits though: the view from the roof-deck is brilliant.