Architecture, the city and its scale

Measuring over 600,000 square metres, Oscar Niemeyer’s Rachid Karame Fair and Exposition site was conceived as more than just a recreational or commercial space for the city of Tripoli in Lebanon. Looking at Tripoli from the air today the elliptical area of the project recalls a petri dish. Stamped into the urban tissue, a 1.1km long ellipse is filled with prototypical architectural forms, such as parabolic arches and faceted cones, with a vast plane of concrete seemingly afloat in its amniotic landscape. Intended programmes for the buildings were to include an exhibition hall, national pavilion, outdoor concert stage and a helipad. Attempting to present a new idea of the city, the project set out to structure a synthesis of work, life and culture, functioning together in an open civic landscape. With construction interrupted by the Lebanese civil war, all the primary structures were completed, yet none were fitted out. Therefore, what remains is a bare, unadorned yet almost complete representation of all the main elements of the original Niemeyer plan.

(Architecture, the city and its scale: Oscar Niemeyer in Tripoli, Lebanon by Adrian Lahoud, The Journal of Architecture Volume 18 Number 6 >>> see full paper)

Ruins & Beginnings: The Dom​-​ino Sessions


During Tuned City – Messene (2018), architects Christian Espinoza and René Rissland established an experimental structure based on Le Corbusier’s Dom-ino House as part of their research during the festival. The structure is comprised of the concrete framing of an unfinished house. Espinoza and Rissland generously invited people to use it as they imagined. Lanterner (Steve Bates and Marc-Alexandre Reinhardt) proposed a series of live improvisations with the other artists who have participated here including the AOL – artists Franziska Windisch, Nicolas Spencer and Florian Tuercke .



Project by Christian Espinoza (CL), René Rissland (DE)

In 1914 Swiss architect Le Corbusier designed his Dom-ino System. This Construction System was to be completely independent of the floor plans of the house, thereby giving freedom to design the interior configuration. Long before Dom-ino Le Corbusier began his career with studies about Greece. In fact he was fascinated by the ancient architecture of the Greek Polis. So it could be an inspiration for creating Dom-ino.

It was in the 1910’s that reinforced concrete was introduced in Greece. The Dom-ino system first inspired a small group of Greek architects before being assimilated by the Greek construction industry, cause the principles of the dispositiv were easy to understand, to assimilate and to reproduce. Till today, the Polykatoikia Typology as application of the Dom-ino system has strongly influenced the informal bottom-up development of many Greek cities.

The unfinished skeleton structure in the heart of Mavrommati can be seen as built metaphor for both, the triumphal progress of Dom-ino in Greece just as the common informal construction tool for vernacular Greek Architecture. In its rudimentary state, it is a perfect place for artistic and social appropriations.

This project will activate the space as experimental laboratory. Different formations of wire arrangements catch electromagnetic signals from the atmosphere, unforseeable events from the realm of short-waves. The Structure itself will be used as big antenna telling us about present tuning politics. The hidden Sounds of the Aether (the ancient Greek word is Aithḗr) will be made audible for the people on the Ground Floor.

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