REDESIGN OF ELEYTHERIAS SQUARE IN THESSALONIKI
- Evgenia Nikitopoulou
- Kalliopi Nomikou
- Heracles Papatheodorou
- Christina Poulmenti
- Dimitris Sagonas
Salonika’s historical center is characterized by extreme residential density, making all public, green and recreational spaces invaluable.
A key goal of our architectural proposal is creating a public space that can serve society's needs in high association with the environment. A space designed for people, where all natural elements are dominant thus making it a point of reference for the city.
The three major factors that influenced the synthesis procedure were the general area's characteristics, the intended symbolism and contemporary urban design trends:
1. Highlighting the city’s connection with the open sea via a gradual transition from the constructed towards the natural.
2. Harmonic design of both the natural and urban parts of the square, providing a plethora of stimuli and images, as well as a direct connection to the seafront
3. Securing the maximum amount of public, open space accessible to all people.
4. Strengthening and redefining of the urban planting in the area.
The synthesis procedure focuses in two points, activating the square through a powerful gesture expressed with images and symbols derived from natural elements and life itself. In the effort to enhance the historical memory of the square, a series of consecutive erases are being unearthed in the same location. This stratigraphy is achieved through a gesture strongly reminiscent of the archaeological digs in the center of the city. A section on the square reveals the past and symbolizes the strong element of memory. The urban overlay is withdrawn to expose the natural earth. Thus, a new gradient is formed to create a new point of reference. Two dynamic, linear
elements intersect the square and create a bounding box for the immersion, a viewport for the connection between the city and the sea and enhance one's ability to conceive the natural slope. The immersion's ground plays host to the natural elements, while the sides are coated with solid, hard materials to preserve the connection to the urban landscape. The square takes up the properties of relaxing and recreational space. A quiet place in the middle of a noisy city that engages the visitor in another reality.