Omonia: ‘If you didn’t like winning proposals, why did you accept results?’

«…We believe it is our duty to reply publicly (to the comments made by Kalantidis), not only to safeguard our own reputations as the designers of the (Omonia Square) project, but to defend the institution that brought us here – that of the architectural competition. «Mr Kalantidis claims that the opportunity given to young architects to compete on equal terms and to be awarded prizes turned out to have negative consequences for the city of Athens. Unfortunately, we will never find out just what these negative consequences were, since the designs have been altered and are still being altered as construction proceeds, through continued interference, most of which has nothing to do with technical or even financial issues but with the very principles of the prize-winning design. «Is it EAXA’s job to judge and to alter the architectural design whenever it disagrees with it, or is it its job to facilitate, by its good offices, the best possible implementation of the design so that Athens can finally see a prize-winning project from an architectural competition in one of its public spaces?… The city of Athens is, therefore, under no threat from the opportunity given to young architects to create, but rather from the unjustified interference on the part of those who have the power to impose their views. «EAXA’s president claims the obvious, that the city projects do not belong to the architects, yet he obviously means that neither they nor the panels of judges, all very experienced and distinguished architects and most of them university professors, are not able to judge the quality of the design. Then who is? To what extent do EAXA’s president, the mayor or the minister have the right to interfere according to their own personal aesthetic criteria in architectural designs, particularly prize-winning ones? The city’s residents need to be protected only as regards their right to see prize-winning works carried out and to be judged over time. Why does an organization continually thwart and undermine something that it itself is supposed to be carrying out? «Finally, if EAXA disagreed with the judges’ decision, why didn’t it cancel the competition and announce new ones, or assign the project to the designers of its choice?» The architects: Ariadne Voasni, Grigoris Desylas, Marilena Katsika, Theodoris Tsiatas.