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REDESIGN OF THE WATERFRONT

 

Development of the waterfront as a site for future urban development, questioning the urban facade of Thessaloniki.Engel & Zillich, Gregotti Associati international SRL, Toyo Ito & Associates, Manuel de Sola Morales, West 8 architects – A.H. Geuze.

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"The Organisation for the cultural capital of Europe Thessaloniki 1997 has displayed a truly laudable initiative in taking under its wing the debate on the city’s waterfront.

If ever there was a project that needed proper sponsorship it is this one, for, given the characteristic cultural dimensions of this European city, it constitutes a real challenge. The enhancement and redesign of the city’s waterfront is as fundamental a matter for Thessaloniki as it is for many other large cities.

We must never forget that Thessaloniki is a linear city, following the natural line of the gulf around which it was originally built. It is this geographical situation that renders so difficult any dialogue between the layout of the city and its major access and service infrastructures. To this end, the 6 projects selected propose a variety of solutions to the problem of compatibility of vehicle access to the historic centre (mass transport, passenger cars, goods deliveries) and the vertical flow providing access to the waterfront.

Here we must recognise the latent infrastructure of canals an d hollows proposed by Yannis Tsiomis’s project, as a means of reinforcing the contact between existing residential areas and the sea. Then, too, Manuel de Sola Morales’s project is possibly one of the most delicate and interesting, in its quest for articulated forms of integration between the existing and /or planned urban fabric and transverse infrastructures. The same Theme is threated by Toyo Ito’s project, although with different instruments, which designates certain model sections for the channelling of major longitudinal traffic flows. The proposal centres on the potential use of " green belt camouflage, " both to meet the city’s need for green areas and to enclose heavy traffic stream.

Another issue that appears in almost all the projects focuses on the form of housing in the zones adjacent to the sea. These range from the proposals for a horizontal city in Adriaan Geuze’s project, where the interior gardens and the low building constitute a sort of carpet, linking the existing city with the future waterfront, to the set of typological situation put forward in Wolfgang Engels an Klaus Zillich’s project, which proposes innovative solutions for the future urban agglomeration around the Gulf of Thessaloniki, from floating houses to residential docks and urban blocs set at intervals along the waterfront… " Joan Busquets

 

 

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----------------------------------------------------------------T. Ito

 

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-------------------------------------W. Engels & K. Zillich

 

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----------------------------------------M. de Sola Morales

 

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--------------------------------------------West 8, A. Geuze

 

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-----------------------------------------------------------Gregotti

 

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---------------------------------------Atelier d'architecture

 

More details in the publication " Restructuring the city - International urban design competitions for Thessaloniki"

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