Active Mosaic

Urban Design
2012, Competition
About This Project

Redesigning the axis of Agia Sophia, Thessaloniki, Greece


The design proposal sets off from a perceptional experience of public space within the limits of Agia Sophia axis. Humans, whether residents of the historic centre or visitors to the city, become the epicenter of the synthetic process. The way that urban qualities and experiences are perceived by people constitutes the key analytic and synthetic mechanism. The initial reading of the city, in the area of the Agia Sophia axis, ‘tints’ an urban tapestry according to emotional impacts and psychological effects of public space. The range of influnce to the user is coded on a diagram of four distinctive sections. These sections are:
a. recalling: contains the notion of memory and historic reference
b. exposing: relates to contemporary activities of the city
c. isolating: concerns the personal reading of the city and the need for temporary ‘withdrawal’
d. loving: relates to subtle, emotionally special moments and experiences
These four sections appear in different colors within the synthetic process. The way they correspond with existing and proposed urban qualities exceed geometric characteristics of urban space. A new fragmentation of space derives as a result of the application of this new ‘tinted’ topology on urban scales. This continuous self-subdivision of urban tapestry reaches the very personal human scale. The tiniest urban dot becomes the fundamental synthetic and structural element of the design proposal. This tiny urban dot is described as the MOSAIC. A number of mixed, hybrid spaces is generated. These spaces bear a distinct functional identity while at the same time they materialize a level of surplus spatial, emotional, psychological and experiential value.


Architects, team leaders:

Anastasios Tellios, Despoina Zavraka



Efi Kassimati, Eleana Panagoulis, Dimitris Grozopoulos, Apostolos Apostolinas, Giannis Gkragopoulos