EuropeStoryMetro Stations; Unearthed by Pygmalion Karatzas

Photographic series from the Metro Stations in Athens and Thessaloniki during their construction by Pygmalion Karatzas. Commissioned by Attiko Metro and the Hellenic Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

Photographic series from the Metro Stations in Athens and Thessaloniki during their construction by Pygmalion Karatzas.

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. [Official Website]

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