Commissioned by Attiko Metro and the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, ‘Unearthed’ is a new series of images taken at the construction sites of the underground metro stations in Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece during July 2020.
The Line 3 extension in Athens will at its completion connect the airport with the harbour and in July three stations were inaugurated: Agia Barbara, Korydallos, and Nikaia. The first photo shoot covered those three stations, with their underground levels and passenger platforms. The second photo shoot took place in Thessaloniki to document the progress of the new metro under construction. Five stations were visited from the one end of the main line to the other end, starting with the New Train Station, then Agia Sofia, Analipsi, Kalamaria, and Aretsou. The terminal depot which will also serve as the operation centre located in Pylaia and covering 50,000 sq.m. space was also photographed, as well as the tunnels between Panepistimio and Analipsi with a locomotive.
The third photo shoot returned to Athens to cover the regenerated plazas above the three finished line 3 metro stations, as well as the three remaining stations under construction that will reach all the way to the Piraeus harbour (Maniatika, Piraeus Harbour, and Municipal Theatre). The Ksylapothiki Archaeological Museum and Workspace in Pireaus was also photographed to document the work done in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Piraeus in restoration and preservation of the ancient artefacts found during the excavations. The most significant findings are reconstructed and stored till they will be exhibited at the finished stations.
The full set of images from these photo shoots can be found in the ‘Architectural – By Country Greece’ section of my website. Here five series are selected: ‘Tunnel Vision’ is a series of abstract images with in-camera motion blur during the moving locomotive in the tunnels. ‘Nortigo AM’ is a series of images looking straight up towards the sky, atrium or ceiling that capture a reverse planar view of interesting underground spaces connecting above and below.
‘Metro Tunnels’ is a series of images of the tunnels at their various stages of construction. The construction lights follow the shape of the tubes, creating almost hypnotic concentric rings. ‘Depot’ is a selection of abstract planar images from the Depot Terminal in Pylaia exploring and revealing the spaces between the two main buildings and the various rail track lines. ‘Test Runs’ is a series of images taken at the passenger platforms of Agia Barbara, Korydallos, and Nikaia during the test runs of the trains before their official opening. ‘Plazas’ is a selection of planar aerial images from the 3 Metro Station public squares of Agia Barbara, Korydallos and Nikaia, regenerated along with the construction of the underground stations.
My thanks to Attiko Metro for entrusting me with documenting this complex and massive group of projects. Architectural photography ends with the completed project, but it starts with, and progresses for months or years, with numerous specialised construction phases that remain unseen to the general public or exist temporarily for a short period of time to never be seen again. In was a privilege to witness and capture a “moment” of this long process.
About Pygmalion Karatzas
Pygmalion Karatzas studied Architecture at the Technical University of Budapest, Urban Design at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, and practiced architecture for 12 years. Since 2013 he is focusing systematically on architectural and fine art photography, producing a portfolio of 250 architectural, commercial and artistic projects from Europe, USA and Middle East.
His images are regularly featured in Greek and international media, have received 66 distinctions from leading photographic competitions and the prestigious Fulbright Artist Scholarship award 2015-2016, and are part of private and public collections. Since 2014 he is the photo editor for the Danish Architecture Center and a contributing photographer to Arcaid Images London and iStock Getty Images. Divisare Atlas of Architecture ranks him among the top 100 architectural photographers worldwide. He has participated in exhibitions and fundraising in Greece, Italy, France, UK and USA, and produced 7 collections, with the ‘Integral Lens’ book receiving 3rd place at the PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris and shortlisted at the Trieste Photo Days Book Award. ‘Nortigo – architectural abstractions’ received 2nd place at the Moscow International Foto Awards.
In affiliation with the University of Tennessee Knoxville and prof. Mark DeKay, their paper on a multi-perspectival approach to architectural photography was presented at the 3rd Integral European Conference; at the 5th Trieste Photo Days Festival and in 2019 became part of an academic mini-term / traveling workshop curriculum. Through photojournalistic reportages, collaborations with architectural firms, businesses and organisations, as well as self-initiated projects, he exhibits his passion and dedication to the study, representation and dissemination of the built environment and its broader role as a cultural asset.
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All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Pygmalion Karatzas. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.