Museum of Underwater Antiquities
Profitis Ilias Preservation Center
The building of Piraeus SILO is a unique example of greek modern industrial architecture. A building which symbolizes through its form, but mainly through its function and operation, modernism as the era which eminently raised the values of development, progress and prosperity for all. Values which are relevant today as ever. This SILO as a building-machine in which the grains were circulated, cleaned, redistributed, and shared in order to be offered the developing Greek community for more than fifty years does not work anymore. But this 'live' machine with its moving cranes, strong belts, restless elevators, robust cells, and dozens of pipelines still stands there ready to welcome the new use.
The stopped clock of the tower tells us a story about the time that has been frozen, the movement that has been blocked, the values that have been forgotten in an era where there are no actions and acts capable of reestablishing time and thus giving perspective. The aim of our proposal is to revive this modern machine, to restart it in order to make it serve its new important practical and symbolic role.
The presence of nature and open spaces in the waterfront area is perceived as a pause in the rigid structure of the urban tissue. This particular quality becomes a basic design tool of the intervention.
The Landscape Design reveals the natural topography that has been hidden by the infrastructure construction over the years. The existing, rigid limit between sea and land is preserved in order to embrace the topography and receive new cultural functions.
A variety of open spaces in terms of scale, function and spacial quality is introduced. Coexistence, reconnection and more public realm experiences are weaved around the gritty, utilitarian and maritime quality of the place.
The area becomes open and inviting both for the inhabitants of Piraeus and the visitors of the Museum Complex.
Preserving the raw materiality of the harbour and attributing to it new qualities, is key element of the intervention. The goal is to maintain the connection with the rest of the port and preserve the echo of the former function of the area.