The particular site, an area of 9500 sqm opposite “Perissos” railway station, is characterised by a complete lack of rule in the placement of prefabricated housing units, with the aim of temporarily covering the housing needs of people suffering from the devastating effects of a recent earthquake. The ad hoc procedures adopted in order for a fast, instant solution to be given, has eventually led to an irrational positioning of these housing units, thus creating a number of indifferent open spaces.
In parallel with the poor spatial qualities of open spaces in the area, one also realises the problematic relation between the city block and Podoniftis stream, as the later crosses the site, covered by tons of concrete.
The program asked for a functional enrichment of the site, mainly including new housing units, in combination with other complementary and compatible functions, such as offices, shops and cultural facilities, thus aiming at securing a wide variety of functions at the given area of study.
The main idea of the proposal is the conception and design of closed spaces as a continuous building structure, which by unfolding can produce quality open urban spaces, while at the same time highlighting the main axes of movement in the composition. In this way, the building form itself, instead of dividing urban space into small independent fragments of indifferent spaces, functions as a unifying compositional urban element, producing interesting and flowing open spaces.
As a result, the city block is not dealt with as an urban element independent of its surroundings or a cluster of fragments, but rather as an integral part of the urban tissue. The building structure, apart from its functional role, also plays another important role by unifying the whole and offering an uninterrupted spatial experience in the city. The proposed planting, where possible, aims at enforcing this morphological, unifying role of the main building structure, by underlining the main axes of movement, as well as highlighting open spaces and places of special interest.
The increased presence of pedestrians in the area due to the existence of the adjacent railway station is something that had to be taken into serious consideration as far as the final proposal is concerned. The proposed urban design functions as a big urban platform, offering pedestrians an uninterrupted movement, while at the same time making a connection between the railway station and the network of urban spaces in the area. The circulation of vehicles inside the area of study is limited only to the inhabitants of the block, as well as visitors of the site.
It has been considered necessary for the improvement of the local environment, to rehabilitate the river-bed of Podoniftis stream, crossing the north-west side of the site, a decision that could significantly improve the quality of local urban environment. As a result, the edges of the stream are shaped in such a way so as to form an attractive and hospitable public space that will encourage social interaction.
Architect: Panagiotis Zakkas
Location: Nea Ionia, Attiki, Greece
Project Year: 2014
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