Petralona House, 2017

Point Supreme

Athens as a ‘Difficult Whole’ and the House at Petralona of Point Supreme 
Nikos Magouliotis

In his efforts to promote his love of complexity and contradiction into a design problem, Robert Venturi, in the 1960s, formulated the concept of the ‘Difficult Whole’. The Athenian landscape, as recomposed by the collage of Point Supreme, is such a ‘Difficult Whole’: each of its representations or designs involves the problem of how its different ‘parts’ will be put together in a ‘whole’ without losing their morphological and semiotic autonomy, which will contribute to the final complex and contradictory image. The House at Petralona is such a design challenge with the recomposing of various objects trouvés in a miniature of the whole of Athens. Architectural features which are familiar to us, both from the anonymous, unofficial Athens, and from its eponymous peaks of design, have been collected and put together in a whole which equates to a disciplined pile of details, forms, and materials which speak to us of the city’s many architectural faces.

For full text please see printed edition.