In an era characterized by the multiplicity of ideologies, styles and ever-changing newness in contemporary
culture, the idea of the city, with its inherent pluralism of contexts, concepts, forms and typologies that have formulated urban artifacts and conditions of urbanity throughout history, emerges as a field of study. The city serves as a stage for political social, economic agonisms, expressed in a vast repertoire of typologies, forms and typicalities.
Accepting Pluralism as a contemporary Zeitgest, and the city as its inherent expression, a model that escapes
from pure historical continuity should be studied. Athens, hence, serves as the battleground where this pluralism is mostly evident as it is a polis that incubates substantial history, filled with ruptures rather than continuities,
conquerors rather than interchanging rulers, and a massive shock produced by modernity, because of the lack of resistance as such was employed in other “historical cities”. The tragedy of histories and styles sets the stage for a peculiar dance between Classical, Roman, Byzantine, Renaissance, Ottoman, Neo-Classical and Modern cultures, all performing in the same play. This combination blurs the sense of time and space: periods that were once sequential have become simultaneous. Iconographies that have remained pure, invade each other.
Extrapolating the study of the Athenian colliding forces through the Urban Block represented by the Athenian Heterogeneous Block and the Monument by the Acropolis, as architectural archetypes of the multiplicity of the city in terms of form, typology, style and function as those express social political and economic agonisms within the city’s difficult whole emerges the idea of the Ark. An urban type that does not assimilate, but deliberately juxtaposes social, political and economic agonisms with the use of public space as the stage for their resolution in different points in the city.
Museums, schools, houses and housing, community centers, theaters, bars and restaurants, cornerstones and
supermarkets, cafes and churches, all find their place within this three dimensional Carcerian space, with public space setting the stage for their unified or separate existence. The Ark expresses the contemporary city’s difficult whole as the combination of forms and formalities that are exhibited daily within it. Having attested to the tastes and attitudes of the city, to public events and private tragedies, to new and old facts, the Ark becomes the fixed stage for human events , an image of the idea of the city.