TIME CLOUDS:
Playground and Archeology Garden, Athens

210505 Site Plan Venice March 28 2021 in

TIME CLOUDS:
Playground and Archeology Garden, Athens

Georg Windeck

Time Clouds is a critical self-reflection of Athens commented in modern architecture. It reveals the city’s complex and painful past, while creating a forwardlooking program. Platforms hover like clouds over an excavation site in Plaka. They establish an elevated playground for children with a cafe, washrooms, and areas of repose. A sunken garden below them exhibits archeological fragments from various periods, including a Roman bath complex with multiple wells.

As an imaginative sequence of spaces, the Time Clouds circulate around the ancient wells. They hold time within them by reinterpreting the ancient fragments of the site as elements of play: Wells are turned into stairs, elevators and slides. Marble blocks become seating arrangements and fallen columns become balancing bars. Crumbling walls are transformed into climbing equipment, and floor mosaics are turned into hopscotch patterns.

With their airy play of forms, the Time Clouds constitute a loose, metaphorical, speculative and melancholic analogy: The children of the city play over the childhood of the city, which is the childhood of all humanity. Growth, memory, forgetting, repression, are lifted off the ground. As an everchanging phenomenon without a fixed shape, the clouds create an architecture that expresses its ephemeral character. They exist only as a fleeting moment that defies the gravitational force of Athens’ history.