Skip to main content
Environmental Architecture (MA)

Letian Zhang

Zhang Letian is an architect. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2021 with a BA in Architecture before joining RCA's MA Environmental Architecture. While focusing on his profession, he also actively tried cross-border design. He once co-created the exhibition "Sure enough" in Beijing 798 Park, gallery collection.

a map

The purpose of this project is to rethink home-scale energy production and collective space in Athens with the specific purpose of mitigating rising energy costs and heat in the city. Inspired by Athens' urban sustainable culture practices and self-governing social life, I have focused on DIY energy production devices that are cost effective and simple and are effective in reducing consumption from the national and privatised energy grid. I have chosen the rooftops of polykatoikia buildings as the project's imaginative launchpad, reconfiguring Athens' rooftops into a "New Athens" in the sky. The project adopts various circular systems, utilising solar energy and rainwater collection as primary energy inputs, while reducing energy loss through systems such as grey water recycling. By significantly reducing energy expenses, the project addresses the scarcity of public spaces in Athens and mitigates the heat island effect caused by its unique topography. Finally, the project is designed in a modular form, allowing DIY installations to be flexible and suitable for any polykatoikia rooftop. The project also included manuals for the dissemination and promotion of small-scale energy production.

City Imaginaries, Connected Rooftops of Athens
City Imaginaries, Connected Rooftops of AthensFrom a selection of 504 rooftops in Athens, a new city is imagined that takes place in the sky. A sky full of potential space centred around home-scale energy production, gardens, and gathering space.
The Many Roofscapes of the Polykatoikia, media item 1

Polykatoikia Building Roof Plan Changes

A study of the changes in the roof plan of Polykatoikia in Athens following the Greek government's 1979 Building Insulation Regulations

A New Athens, media item 1

A New Athens

A new, imaginary city composed of roofs, which can maximize self-sufficiency in obtaining clean energy; and at the same time provide residents with more comfortable public spaces, and the coverage of green plants can also alleviate the urban heat island effect.