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  • Low-Expectations House

    Angela HUANG & Alex TAHINOS, "Real Fictions II: Pier Gardens." Model.
    athens GREECE

    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
    critic: Apostolos KALFOPOULOS.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Yannis KARABABAS: A low-expectations house desires to be just one more house…

    A house- the par excellence familiar place- appears as a physical object, and at the same time as a mythological formation, a mental complex of images which is culturally defined. In an effort to recuperate the familiar by mapping the topology of symbolic forms which constitute it, the attention shouldn’t be turned to the beautiful objects of desire, but to the ostensibly uninteresting, the ordinary and stereotypical objects of the everyday.

    Through the contemporary Greek landscape, where architecture is mainly experienced through the car glass, the character of each place doesn’t vary in relation to its geographical latitude, but according to the latitude of the road which crosses it. The most representative of the buildings born out of this extended condition of informal suburbanism are the houses which sprawled all over the Greek countryside, built on the basis of the famous Dom-ino system. The simultaneous repetition and differentiation of this generic form reveals the fleeting, fluid, archetypal identity of a mundane object which feels as familiar as an old joke and as disturbing as a bad memory.

    A low expectation is the shelter you need every time that your desires betray you. The “Low-Expectations House” is a narrative construct which comes to exonerate the flatness of this world, by reproducing it both explicitly and metaphorically. Inside the house, the acts of domestic life are being performed in a series of similar rooms, each programmed for a different event, repeated through time. Here, the sweet mediocrity of the everyday meets itself at last.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    YK: The vernacular architecture of my hometown in Greece.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    YK: I remember watching Twin Peaks and listening mostly to Manos Hadjidakis and hip-hop.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?:
    YK: Go Hasegawa, Office KGDVS, H Arquitectes, Vylder Vinck Taillieu.