With the apartment as a housing unit, the balance of the vertical stratification of classes in the apartment block of the 1960s has been disturbed. While the Greek version of the ‘Maison Domino’ has multiplied into hundreds of thousands of copies throughout the Attica basin, the centre of the city has gradually been abandoned and has degenerated. New correlations are at present causing upheaval in the mutating social fabric of the city centre – old-style bourgeois now bankrupt, new migrants, mostly male, ‘artists’ of every nature who have discovered the ‘decadence’ of the centre, young refugee couples with young children, the homeless and vagrants. The typology of the flat and the apartment block of the ‘60s cannot be recycled intact, but must be recomposed in order to respond to this transformation of the city’s social strata.
“ … What use are all these rooms, the ‘sitting/dining-room’, the bathroom, and the WC? Or the balconies with the shutters down, where nobody sets foot any more, where someone might appear to hurriedly hang out some washing or smoke a cigarette? What do we want with so many balconies in this city? And the rooftop terraces, the old washhouses, what’s going to happen to all these?”
(from interviews with residents)
At this point, the question inevitably arises as to what the new aesthetic which emerges will be like, what alternative uses will be able to insert themselves into the empty ground-floor shops, and, finally, what the catalysts will be which will bring to life again the empty neighbourhoods.