27 April 2009




An important aspect of Syd Mead’s artistic vision for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner was a future in which things weren’t futuristic by virtue of their being new, but futuristic because the future adapted, or retrofitted the past. Aerial shots showed wedged-shaped buildings of enormous size, whilst street-views tended to show columned porches or stone pedestals. It looked as though the new had simply been built on top of the old.

In Greece’s northern city of Thessaloniki, the same can be seen in the A.D. Imperial Palace Hotel. The lower floors seem to be an entire neo-classical structure, whilst the upper floors are an unapologetic modern addition. The hotel’s website seems to highlight two good reasons for this: mandatory earthquake protection measures make it structurally possible, and penthouse rooms offer a view of both the harbour and the mountains.