Thessaloniki, Greece

40000m2

competition entry

2012

John Karahalios

Nadia Krikou

Penny Loukakou

Tzina Sotiropoulou

 

George Lagadinos

Eleni Tsirintani

Konstantinos Epifanidis

Panagiotis Katsios

George Karavides



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URBAN PAUSE 
The making of Hagia Sofia's axis into a pedestrian street gives the city an opportunity to redefine itself. The complexity of the city and the seeming chaos that occupies the place is distracting and annoying. The main idea is to create an urban void in the middle of the city center so as to give space to a clean and clear white field. We create the necessary condition of tranquility in order to appreciate the beauty and importance of the byzantine monuments as well as to give way to a new experience of public space that permits connections between people and places, movement and urban form, nature and the built fabric. We use white concrete to create a field that provides a clear canvas of social interface and accessibility. We also place four sculptural objects that organize and highlight the special character of each area of the development. 
-The Garden of Macedonian Heroes; The open space facing the monument of Aheiropoiitos church is transformed into an urban garden and an open air memorial of the modern Greek history. We create a dense grid of high trees (Platanus orientalis) surrounding the existing white marble sculptures of Macedonian heroes. The sculptures are placed in a linear array of ramps that penetrates the garden. 
-The Metro Station Gate; The new Metro Station exit emerges from the white concrete pavement used as the main construction material of the Hagias Sofia's pedestrian street. Designed as a linear and long mega-sculpture, the Gate represents the basic meeting point and embodies the flow of the crowd. Its inclined terrace serves as an outdoor theatre looking over the overall regeneration of the district. The interior cladding of the Gate is corten steel. 
-The Hagia Sofia's Square; We redesign the open space facing Hagia Sofia Byzantine church, based on the design principles of the renaissance squares. The proposal's main objective is the clear shape, the space enclosure and a direct reference to the monument axis. The floor pattern in the square, a contemporary version of traditional architecture hexagon floor tiles, is dominant. 
-The Tower Viewpoint; We design a Tower that flows over the sky, a viewpoint from where we observe the city. The transparent mirror claddingreflects the surroundings whileit creates impressive night lighting. The tower will serve as an infopoint and the adjacent building is proposed to host the new Museum of the City of Thessaloniki.