Urban development of Salonica West Entrance

buildings

The project is about a part of Thessaloniki with intense problems of environmental and social degradation. The objective of this intervention is the development of city’s western region with the creation of a scientific research sector, office and parking space spreading over the entrance roadway.

As the limit between the end of the city and the beginning of nature today is indistinguishable, the plan’s logic is based on the progressive passage from free-natural forms to regular-more urban (and vice – versa). The Science Centre is placed in direct relation with the old railway lines and aims to act as a pole of attraction also for informational / entertainment activities, as it is in direct relation with a recreational area. Its dynamic form is composed of organic forms that engage around an atrium. These fluid volumes rise from the ground on supporting columns and on air they cross the roadway, shaping a bridge – city’s gate. On the other side their thickness is decreased and they spread in order to form the shelter for the bus terminal and parking. The total arrangement follows an S shape, creating reception formations for both of the roadways.

Parallel to the road are arranged office buildings, which approach free forms with their curved glass facades, however offer clarity – regularity through their repetitive composition and grouping. Thus, it is achieved a smooth passage from free structures in a more urban environment, which ongoing will give its place in the continuous facades of city’s buildings.

A basic unifying element of the overall design is the interference of a string of linear elements that “flow” onto the volumes and compose the shading system of buildings. The shading mesh starts on the south elevation of the Science Centre and runs, following surface geometry with maneuvers and spreading, corresponding to shading necessities of the atrium and windows. Ongoing, the mesh of “tentacles” spreads and shapes a diaphragm in front of the glazed office facades, providing at the same time continuity to the south-western elevation. The dynamic quality of the whole has a strong reference to the car movement, strengthening the visual continuity between different parts. At night the linear elements are lighted, making even more lucid the character of continuous flow.