Lectures 2006
Skip Navigation Links : Lectures 2006 : September : "Lycabettus" Damaskou Despoina

"Lycabettus" Damaskou Despoina

This lecture treats the definition of the role of Lycabettus within the landscape of Attica.

I will attempt to prove that Lycabettus is the eye on the body of the city.


1          I use as tools the myths and the history to demonstrate all, which Lycabettus sees in time and I precede with definitions, which focus on the peculiarities of this eye.  Peculiar regarding its form, I analyze its evolution.  Peculiar, not only regarding its specific position within the body of the city – which, in turn, permits it to function as a periscope – but also peculiar with respect to its exceptional role, position which it occupies in relation to the acropolis together with matters of hierarchy and orientation which this relation renders.

I perceive through this problematic, the need to invent an acropolis and more specifically, the means of expansion of the city starting from there and which Lycabettus observes from here. I perceive in other words, the manner the city intervenes on Lycabettus.


2          I pay attention to the value of the human glance, to the traveler, to the explorer.  I speak through the notes of the journeys of Le Corbusier, Martin Heidegger, and the wanderings in Athens of Dimitris Pikionis. Reading them, my goal is to render ones personal glance, with respect to the role of Lycabettus, on the landscape of Attica, as well as, regarding specifically the peculiarity of the Hellenic bas-relief and light.

I speak therefore, of the importance of the retributive glance and its role in the formation of our intrinsic world, of our personal truth, of the transient perception from the tangible world to the intelligible one, of the inner scope.

These notes contain the words and shapes of Athens in order to derive from them the creative inspiration and they indicate to us, the importance of traveling and exploration in our discipline.


3          I activate the inner scope of Lycabettus on the body of the city. My goal is to restore the psychic blindness which it has undergone and which has as a result “matters” to be viewed but not recognized.  I urge it to discover its proper body, the earth under the city, through maps and notional discernments on matters and methods with which the urban development touches it.

I utilize the weapons I conveyed (polis/city, earth, motion) in order to compose a language for recognizing the grid, the network, the urban complex facing nature, the gardens... in other words, I relate to its solids and voids, to the built and unbuilt in a dialectic between object and landscape, observed by man.

Finally, I propose a strategy of intervention on the area of Lycabettus, interrogating the possibility for this hill to descent on the city fabric. I will invent allusions of comprehension, which it cannot portray. The goal of architecture is not that of depicting the visible, but that of rendering apparent the visible... or better, that which provokes sensation.


“ neither speaks nor conceals but means

  neither uncovers nor hides but manifests ”    Heraclitus