Author : Daniel Hernandez Diaz

University : Universidad Politécnica de Madrid

Status : BArch, 2012

Title : Take Up The Alexander Travellers Hostels and Le Corbusier Foundation

At the foot of the Parthenon, in the port of Athens -PIREUS- is the site chosen by “Le Corbusier” foundation to place a permanent hostel for travellers (especially students and pilgrims) inside the ALEXANDER, a container ship with the length of about 140 meters which is nowadays out of service and ready for destruction.

Curiously, today we have the same problem our forefathers had in the past, which is what to do with the ships once they’ve served their useful lives. The solution was a farewell ritual by burning them near the coast but in the present it is much more depressing because we merely leave them in designated cemeteries.

However, the economic crisis are living in at the moment makes the hulls of big Greek ships become big opportunities for habitats with less inversion (places to re-habilitate, re-generate, re-compose, re-conquer, etc.). Additionally, those types of “buildings” can be situated in strategic places already clogged by the usual constructions in cities like New York, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Athens or Instanbul).

The program is related with low-cost tourism or with pilgrimage (above all the journey to the east of Le Corbusier) that moves a lot of young students with little means.

The year 2011 marks the one-century anniversary of Le Corbusier’s legendary journey in 1911. He went from Berlin to Italy following the course of the Danube and passing through many countries such as Bohemia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece and Italy.
The project is inspired by the feelings he wrote down in his diary whilst waiting out a quarantine that hindered him from entering Greece. He had to wait patiently for several days before finally arriving at the Acropolis. The anxiety about going up alone through the Acropolis hill is one of the most beautiful texts he wrote.