architecture 112: horologion, piraeus clock tower

‘horologion’ by architecture 112
all images courtesy of architecture 112

athens-based firm
architecture 112 (stavros martinos and aris ntalas) aims to reconfigure
a tower’s facade in to an urban sundial with ‘horologion’, their design entry in to the piraeus
tower competition. built on the site of a 19th century clock building, the current structure
stands abandoned in greece’s third largest municipality. the new design will restitute the memory
of the demolished landmark through its site-specific history, as well as transform the facade
into a readable, identifiable element.

using the time piece as a point of departure, the design considers all factors of the site such as
geographic latitude, the angle of the sun, orientation, amount of sunlight, shadow, and gradation
of the day. the new tower is divided into four convex faceted volumes that assume the function
of the dial during each of the year’s four seasons. on the north side, a reclining sundial projects
the time at the top corner of the tower; facing the south, a vertical edge looks to the street level
to make the time easily discernible.

each surface of the volume is formulated to be a triangular face so that an edge may act as a ‘gnomon’,
or needle, on the reclining face below. during the course of the day, every face will be shaded differently,
giving the tower an ever changing appearance and identity.

rendered perspective
to maximize the natural sunlight and shadow effect, the exterior skin will be completely white

north sundial, in context
the external staircase is shaped into a tall, pointed element to cast a shadow on the surrounding city. this horizontal sundial may be read
on a network of explicitly marked urban elements, placed all around town.


south sundial

(1) lattice external shade
(2) gnomon (lat. 37’9” – long. 23’6”)
(3) reclining sundial surface
(4) white corian bas-relief
(5) sentry glass
(6) structural grid – alesta coating

(left) north elevation – reclining sundial
(right) south elevation – vertical sundial

site and solar lines for north sundial

timestrip of sundial

(top) initial sketch of the piraeus tower
(bottom) 1869: the old clock tower

(clockwise from top left) horizontal sundial, additional staircase, abstraction, tower edges and faces, analemmatic sundia

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