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URBAN VENTILE / density / centrality


'Urban ventile'                                                                                    Analysing the specific structure [urban skeleton] of the central urban fabric the project work out proposition in favour to stimulate activity rather than symbolic representation of the social.                                                      [urban scenario], [programmatic layering]


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Schema 1_ the large scale of the empty space of the ‘Aristotelous axis’ and the central location of the site with its inherent unexploited potential contrasts with the density of the urban fabric - originally planned for 35000 the city center, actually inhabiting 800000 peoples, which correspond to a density of 500 inhabitants per ha. Beside the 50-km long waterfront the axis is the most important free space throughout the urban fabric and can be considered as the most efficient development area for leisure and cultural activity.

The unachieved ‘Hebrard’ urban masterplan, designed after the great fire in 1917, which has destroyed the total center of Thessaloniki is so interpreted as an attempt to import a new structural element, opening up the city to the sea by the medium of a major axis, but also as the feature of the blind faith to the historicism vision. The discovery of the archaeological finding has provoked a paralysis accentuating the conflict between the historical heritage and an irrevocable modernity. Never the less, the absence of urbanism during 70 years turned the axis into an important free space – an ‘urban ventile’. The symbolic monumentalism of the original design of the axis collapsed into a diversified field of activity. A space of contrast opposing urban fragments as the ancient agora with a black market of eastern immigrants, the mass of television antennas and underwear of social housings with the most important monuments, hermetic shut off areas with infrastructure….

The axis as an important urban space find its most significant expression in the arbitrary untwist of fragments and contrasts its highest congestion by daily economy and activity, combining the different cultural influences between Asia, Europe and Balkan.

The project exacerbate the potential of this situation by superposing new spatial structures on the axis ‘plates and pleats’ as undetermined spaces-kind of pre-programsto establish the axis as a place of event rather than of symbolic representation. ‘Liquid axis’ follows the urban strategy of congestion of activity – a densification of emptiness as a more light and temporal urbanisation.





centrality.GIF (7408 bytes)    Schema 2_. The planning project not only focuses on the symbolic status of the axis, as a main generator of urban activity, resonating and being connected to the whole city, but question the central condition of the contemporary city. It is the focal point of political, cultural, social and economical representation and event