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Competition for the regeneration of the Square of Heroes, Municipality of Eleusis, 1st mention (Acquisition)

Eleusis was one of the holiest locations in antiquity: the place of Mother Earth, of Demeter and Persephone, the place of nature, agriculture and the cycles of time, life and death.

From intensely rural in the beginning of the last century, the landscape of Eleusis has become industrial and post-industrial. The same landscape that incarnated the legend has now been wiped out. On the Square of Heroes, at the entrance to the archaeological site and on the historical axis of the Holy Road, we are restoring the symbolism of the historical rural landscape.

The Holy Road is designated by linear planting of olive trees, which distinguish the space without other interventions required.

The Square is excavated. The history that is hidden beneath the paving embosses on to the surface. Subsequently, the space is covered by a metal grate, which constitutes the new ground for city life. The soil under the grate is seeded with wheat. The wheat, as the representative element of the rural nature’s cycle of life, becomes the surface on which city life is registered. The wheat grows between the grate’s openings, creating a new surface. Where ancient remnants exist, the wheat grows in a more restricted way. Thus, traces from the ancient subsoil are revealed on the wheat surface, the most important of which is the trace of the Holy Road. The passers-by or occupants also leave these traces as they cross the square, stepping onto the wheat. The next year, the wheat re-sprouts from the seeds, and the cycle repeats itself.

Location

Eleusis, Greece

Area

0,5 ha

Date

2007

Scope

Design of the Square of Heroes, Landscape Architecture

doxiadis+ Team

Thomas Doxiadis, Aris Petrou, Marina Antsaklis, Ira Vonderthann

Images

doxiadis+