Public spaces and buildings / Δημόσιοι χώροι & κτήρια

Landmark for the Faliron Pier

Athens, Greece, 2012, competition proposal​​

4th prize (acquisition) 

The competition called for a New Landmark on a 50mx50m platform at the end of a 150m long Pier that will be build on the coast of Athens, in the Faliron area. In the same area, the new national library and opera are currently under construction, a building complex designed by architect Renzo Piano. The opera complex will be almost hidden under a large green park with small hills and valleys that will extend across the coast, reaching the far end of the Faliron bay.

This gesture of "hiding" program under the landscape, combined with other elements of the surrounding man-made and natural context, like the existing landmark / shell structures in the surrounding area, or the small wave breakers that will be formed close to the site, led us to the idea of creating a "hill", or an island in the sea. The hill would then be inhabited, like any hill in a park, with people walking, lying and sitting on areas with different incline. Circular openings on the hill allow people to enter a restaurant and cafe area that has clear views of the Aegean sea, while protecting patrons from the intense summer sun.
 
The hill is then mirrored, creating a protecting roof for visitors of the landmark. Another circular opening allows access through the city axis that runs along the pier, to the upper lever which can host an amphitheater and observatory area. Both roof and hill can host diverse ephemeral uses from concerts to public events and theatrical plays. Roll down projection screens, sprinklers and hill slides create clusters of leisure areas.
 
Micro topographic architectural elements, like linear and arc shaped stairways and benches hover or "grow" on the hill and roof, implying diverse pathways but also allowing free movement in and on this manmade landscape. Their scale also introduces the human scale within the design.\

All circular openings on the hill assure natural ventilation and lighting of the restaurant-cafe during the day, while their north-south orientation protects the interior spaces from the intense greek summer sun. A sun exposure study showed that this passive sustainable design strategy will minimize energy needs throughout the year. Geothermal energy systems come to stabilize interior temperatures , while Photovoltaic film panels on the roof will come to supply the energy demands of the proposal. 

 

Sustainable design: S.Zerefos- C.Tessas

 

(Special thanks to K.Michailidis, A.Tzortzis, E.Papavasileiou and K.Miltiadis for their help)

Agricultural heritage museum & park

Eptagonia, Cyprus, 2012, competition proposal​​honorary mention with A.Tzortzis & F.Zapantiotis

The lot #686 that hosts the existing cultural center of Eptagonia is today characterized by a sharp elevation of about five meters with the new lot, #677. The stone wall that surrounds it, retains only a portion of the slope at the base of the hill, and stresses the strict demarcation between the two properties. As a symbolic gesture, the perimeter wall was broken down into smaller fragments or “debris” which slide within the surrounding space.

 

The fragments now become stone walls and yards – a reference to the Cypriot vernacular architecture – while holding the soil and organizing the whole park area.The individual volumes of the museum follow the gentle slope of the existing terrain, creating an “organic” connection to the landscape while creating individual passes and plateaus that are interconnected, in a composition close to the human scale and built context of the village.

 

The museum, tavern and priest dwelling are expressed as flat surfaces that come to house the “debris” within space. This treatment allows the breakdown of the volume of the museum into smaller sections, assuring that the new buildings blend in with the existing built context. Finally, the programmatic areas of the museum appear as independent fragments that make up a larger whole. Their volumes are unfolded into surfaces that embrace and hold the program. This gesture also created interior spaces that are protected from the intense summer sun , while having gradual, smooth transitions and circulation among them.

​(Special thanks to K.Daskalaki for her help)

Renovation of the "Germanina" farm

Pafos, Cyprus, 2011, competition proposal​

The current layout / alignments of the ruins, create
an insular group that refers to a protected internal "courtyard".
The proposal maintains this momentum, while placing new buildings over the existing ruins, as an attempt to
shelter both visitors and ruins from the extreme summer sun conditions.
Three new"neighborhoods" are created:

1.Museums, summer cinema, commercial uses
2.Art workshops and residencies
3.Student hostel and Inn.

 

The typology of the protected courtyard is applied to the new buildings: one of the new courtyards becomes the museum of modern art atrium. The new buildings could perhaps be described as a modern version of the traditional "Makrinari" house type, found in the anonymous folk Cypriot architecture that also have a "kalokairino"space as a protected courtyard.

In the center of the composition, a rich mediterranena garden is formed, hosting mainly native trees and plants of Cyprus as well as an open public plaza.


An equally significant gesture is the stepwise degradation of the garden from the main plaza in the southern part, to create a "woumb" with water: an area of ​​public baths within the land. Going up one side of this garden, one would walk under the trees to finally find the public plaza. The sense of "emergence" is repeated when one walks from the stone wall ground floor to the open plan addition of the second floors.


All the new roofs are accessible through the courtyards and planted with local shrubs and bushes.  Our aim is to experience this new "topos", while being within, between or above the natural and human landscape.

(Special thanks to K.Michailidis, A.Tzortzis and E.Petsatodi for their  help)


 

Limassol Town Hall offices

​Limassol, Cyprus, 2011, competition proposal

honorary mention  with students A.Tzortzis & L.Tojai

The proposal is based on the concept of transparency and semi-permeability, both in functional organization, and materiality of the building per se. Our aim was to create organic links with both the city and its inhabitants, andthe interior of the building. This gesture is actually a way to rethink the threshold of a public building and the city, relying on visual contact and human movement.


The building attempts to connect to the existing urban environment, but also to highlight the presence of the existing town hall, acting as a homogenous, neutral background.

The volume of the building recedes behind the permitted building line at ground floor, on the road Arch.Kyprianou, so as to create a new plateau - connection to the open area of ​​the town hall. A slope / ramp with gentle incline leads visitors from the sidewalk, to the main entrance at the ground floor.

This small difference in height of one meter between the two planes, one is called to "ascend" with a 5% slope, allows visitors to experience entering the building both visually and physically. The connection of the existing technical department with the new building is a wide space in between them.

 

The building volumes create are cantilevered in order to signify the entrance and the auditorium, while additional deformations on the floors , create semi-open outdoor spaces and terraces, which are planted and help sustain a cooling microclimate.

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