What inspired your design concept?
The façade of our housing was made from relief castings based on an ancient frieze. It was produced from reconstituted stone and shows parades of athletes assembled for a festival.
We used 3D digital photography to scan the Parthenon Stones in the British Museum and the scan file was used to direct a computer-guided milling process to create soft board positives of the stones at a larger scale. These were then used to make latex casts for pre-cast concrete panels. By pushing the reliefs out from the datum of the facade we tried to emphasize a rugged quality in the panels against the spare surfaces of the frame.
We chose the Parthenon Stones because of the way they have been removed from their ritual site and become world-famous images. The more they fragment and deteriorate in their physical condition, the more they have been idealised. They have been burnt, defaced, exploded, cut into pieces, sunk in ships, polluted, scraped, duplicated and disputed. They helped us to express some of the paradoxes involved in making a piece of city out of a transient festival event.
Our design was based on a site-wide strategy for the Athletes’ Village that focused on design guides, build ability, sequencing and procurement. Collaborative working was vital and we worked very closely with a much wider team on all aspects of design and construction.