When asking the city

Category
Landscape, Urban Design
Tags
2013, Competition
About This Project

Redesigning Eleftherias Square in Thessaloniki, Competition

 

The design proposal ‘when asking the city’ sets off capturing an experiential relationship between the urban history of the square, evolving over time through a procedure of scars ‘seeding’ the contemporary urban field, providing for:

  • extension of existing square fabric, to meet the surrounding streets, expanding the designed area of ​​the square to the boundaries of buildings. This leads to a significant increase of the urban surface from 7 on 11.4 acres.
  • pedestrianisation of Oplopiou street, for better access to and from the pedestrian district of ​​Ladadika, reinforcing the existing pedestrian network of Kalapothaki and Rogoti streets.

Through extensive research on the history of urban transformations in the area, the architectural composition forms in three stages:

  1. an urban heuristic mechanism resulting to key surface manipulations,
  2. a new topography of urban flows,
  3. the seeding of human points and signs.

The urban heuristic mechanism develops as a conceptual integration of historical data and representation of coded signs and urban concentrations. The new topography compresses traces of movement and action on the square, by different people, at different times. A projection of exaggerated sculptural surfaces settles on urban incisions descriptive of imaginary space that forms a system of contours, not referring to a geographical but a historical, human and cultural terrain.

The proposal aims at the reorganization of open public space and performance of a new urban square, consisting of four distinct functional areas. An ‘urban node’ accommodating the ticket office and cultural info points, a ‘linear surface split’, designed as a sloping path leading to a level of 1.20 meters below ground level creating tracing historic references, running parallel to the ancient defensive city wall. Finally, the scheme proposes a ‘gazebo of memory’ emerging from the urban square surface points and a ‘pier to the sea’ negotiating a new threshold between city and water.

 

Architects, team leaders:

Anastasios Tellios, Despoina Zavraka

 

Collaborators:

Stratis Georgiou, Arsenis Zachariadis, George Hussen, Yannis Kefalouros