“Pier #7″ Thessaloniki New Central Business District. Competition

On 12. Dezember 2020 by Daniel Grünkranz

FORM SOCITY and urbanist Anastasia Tzaka have developed a proposal for Thessaloniki’s new business district which is intended to set new ecological standards, which is future-proof, functional diverse and lively, and which adds value to the city and to the neighbourhood. The project site marks a part of the historic port area which had been an important industrial zone in the late 19th and in the 20th centuries and which had added to the identity of the city of Thessaloniki as a maritime hub. Originally located at the water front, the site is now an “in-between zone”, lying behind the new port and its inaccessible waterfront and next to the south-western quarters of Thessaloniki. The goal of the project is to restore a phenomenology of a maritime life world, but necessarily in absence of a coastal line and access to the sea.

The urban planning concept is based on the “pier principle”. The pier constitutes the interlocking of two elements (usually land and water) and the increase of the functional capacity of a (coast) line. In the project, this principle is used to interlock the urban development layer and the green layer. The green layer creates a buffer zone between the industrial harbour in the south and the new district and minimizes the impact of harbour related pollutions. The interlocking principle maximizes the contact area between the green buffer zone and the urban development and the building facades. The urban planning scheme also aims at the incorporation of the historic buildings, which are to be retained on the site, into the overall scheme.

The architectural typology of the project is based on high-rise buildings and point house as well as yard house types. High-rise and point house buildings contribute to the openness and permeability of the area and serve as local architectural accentuations within the urban plan. The yard houses have an spatial definition effect in respect of the pier principle and create a succession of public and and semi-private spaces. They constitute an architectural unit while they offer the possibility of various uses and functional flexibility. Building layouts are designed to extend the facades towards the green zone and the water front and to generate relationships between the architecture, public spaces, and the wider surroundings. The scaling and terracing of the buildings ensures the compatibility towards the existing buildings, serves the openness of the yard houses towards south-east and south-west directions, and establishes view relations.

The environmental and ecological awareness of the project is reflected by the assignment of reuse and circular economies, water management, the greening of areas in order to improve local climate and bio diversity, and the deployment of energy production and preserving technologies.

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