Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thessaloniki International Book Fair is opening tomorrow!

A grand celebration... an established meeting place... a unique experience... every May… in Thessaloniki... the 6th Thessaloniki International Book Fair.

The 6th Thessaloniki International Book Fair is awaiting the arrival of thousands of visitors with much and great anticipation. The wealth of books published in Greece… the presence of Greek and foreign writers and professionals… hundreds of events for children and adults… tantamount to a very special event, to be held at HELEXPO’s facilities, which cover an area of 10,000 sq. m. There will be more than 500 publishers from 40 different countries (China and India will be represented at the Fair for the very first time), 70 of the biggest names in writing, and of course, thousands of books for every preference…

Thessaloniki Book Fair (TBF) takes place from the 28th until the 31st of May at HELEXPO Exhibition Centre (Halls 13 and 15). It offers visitors an opportunity to get acquainted with the latest releases of publishers from all over the world.

* Take your time to roam around the publishers’ stands.
* Choose from a varied programme of cultural events.
* Join in discussions with writers from Greece and abroad, and ask them to sign their books for you.

This year’s Fair will have:

1. A thematic exhibition, entitled “Books and History”, featuring books on all the different periods of Greek history (11 units), visual material, rare publications and manuscripts, documentaries, presentations and various events organized by cultural bodies and organizations;

Poster from the Balkan War era.

2. Germany, the guest of honour, with its impressive pavilion and some of the country’s most important cultural figures;

3. A Children’s Corner, for the younger visitors, offering a series of events featuring their beloved writers and illustrators;

4. A Magazine Stand, featuring literary and commentary journals;

5. A Literary Cafe (Hall 13), a meeting point and a place of relaxation for both visitors and professionals, where they can enjoy a free cup of coffee (kindly sponsored by Domingo).

6. A Foreign Language Bookstore

Also, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture has dedicated the year 2009 to the poet Giannis Ritsos (“Giannis Ritsos 2009 – 100 years since his birth”). EKEBI has therefore planned a special ode to Giannis Ritsos, featuring the mobile exhibition on the poet’s life and work, spotlighting both the originals and translations of his work. On Saturday 30 May (20:00), a concert will be held in the main square of the Fair, with a great festive atmosphere and songs by Mikis Theodorakis, Thanos Mikroutsikos, Christos Leontis and Panagiotis Bousalis.

The Fair is organized by the National Book Centre of Greece (ΕΚΕΒΙ), in co-operation with the Greek Ministry of Culture, HELEXPO and the Pan-Hellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers (PΟΕΒ). The Fair is a project co-financed by the European Union (ERDF) and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture (EU Culture Program).

The opening ceremony of the Book Fair 2009 will take place on Thursday, 28 May 2009, at 7:00 p.m. (see invitation above)

Admission is free.

Check the program here! (Greek only I'm afraid). EKEBI has a blog too, so check that out as well!

As every year since it began, the company I work for, Tetragon, has designed and built all the stand that are related to EKEBI: their own, the thematic exhibition stand (Books and History), the Children's Corner and the Literary Cafe. Photographs and more on the next days! See you there!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Architecture Workshop in Athens!

The very first Architecture Workshop, titled (what else?) "1st Athens Architecture Workshop", will take place in Athens, with the initiative of architect Nikos Ktenas and the invaluable participation of Vassilios P. Bartzokas, with Carteco as a sponsor and Brainlab as support. The whole thing is under the aegis of the Municipality of Athens.

This international architecture workshop will take place from the 21st of July until the 2nd of August, in Athens. It is aimed at foreign and Greek students of Architecture as well as young architects working abroad. Prominent personalities of European Architecture will be teaching : Aires Mateus, Piere Allain Croset, Antonio Tejedor, Μichel Kagan, Nikos Ktenas and others. During the workshop, lectures open to the public will be given by João Luís Carrilho da Graça (Lisbon), Antonio Citterio (Milan), Aurelio Galfetti (Lugano), Franco Purini (Rome), while an exhibition of the projects will be organized and a special catalogue published.

The aim is to give the possibility, through a detached view of prominent architects but of young architects too, to form architectural proposals for particular areas within Athens. Seven locations in the city centre have been chosen for this reason. These locations gather endogenously as well as between them a variety of disparate characteristics, and are spotlighted as study areas so that they can acquire a contemporary identity that will highlight their particularity and character.

This undertaking is a challenge to all, participants and teachers as well as citizens of Athens (who will be able to be the recipients of this projects results - an alternative look on their city's public space reality), as a research on one of the oldest cities of Europe, with its particularity of historical, geographical and cultural elements. In other words, this architecture workshop places contemporary Athens in the place of a city whose public space has to be confronted henceforth with an architectural conscience and sensibility from all, beginning mainly from an academic research level that expects to be extended as a collective conscience.

The workshop is addressed to new architects but also to graduate and postgraduate students of architecture and the attendance costs 350 Euros per individual. Everyone will be dealt with on a first come-first served basis. A bulletin of attendance and more information are available at

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Greek Architecture Awards

The Hellenic Institute of Architecture, in co-operation with the Benaki Museum presents in an exhibition that opened on the 15th of April, the Architecture Awards for 2008. On the eve of the opening, the awards ceremony took place at the museum. The awards gathered a lot of press in Greece, which recently was become a bit more sensitive to architectural issues, prompted in a major part by the discussions about the New Acropolis Museum by Bernard Tschumi.

The purpose of the awards, according to the Institute, is to highlight and promote the contemporary architectural projects whose construction, typology and morphology as well as their environmental conformity compose an architectural proposal with renewal elements in the frame of the existing urban environment. The awards are about realised projects in Greece, they are three and are awarded every four years for three different categories. One is about housing, one is about state or municipal projects and one about projects that do not fit either of the previous categories.

For the third presentation of the awards, the international committee (consisting of professors of Architecture Andreas Giakoumakos and Panos Dragonas together with the award winners of the 2004 nominations C. Deligiani, D. Diamantopoulou and D. Tsagaraki, plus at the final stage the president of the GIA Professor N. Kalogeras and Foulvio Irase, director of Trienalle in Milan) gave the following awards:

For the housing category, "House in Psychico" by Pantelis Nikolakopoulos, below and first photo of this post.

For the Public sector category, "Remodelling ofThessaloniki beach front" by Prodromos Nikiforidis, Bernard Cuomo, Atelier R.Castro, S. Denissof, below and second photo of this post.

For the category of projects not fitting in the above two categories, "The Breeder Gallery" by Office 405 - Aris Zambikos with Pulcheria Giova as collaborator, below and last photo of this post.

The exhibition will showcase all participations, so that one can view the trends developing in Greek Architecture in the last five years. The Hellenic Institute of Architecture believes that the basic purpose of an award is the recognition of the quality of the achievement, which means rewarding not only the result but also the effort of all the contributors to it. The show is curated by Nikos Kalogeras and Marianna Milioni.

Photos of the House at Psychico courtesy of the architect.
Photos of the New Thessaloniki Beech courtesy of Lucretius.
Photos of Breeder Gallery courtesy of Vivianna Athanassopoulou

Originally published by me at 2Modern Design Talk