The way we saw this competition since we went true the brief introdiction, was as a begining of some grater idea in mind. The first piece of a puzzle, that has the potential to become an amazing image. But what do we mean by that? Well it’s fearly simple, you can not develop an entire ,well functional Business center, especially in old city like Thesalloniki, just by pointing to an area, and say: “This will be my new Central Business District”. Such area requiers years of development, and planing. That’s why we look at our project more like of a pice of the greater picture, the begining of that Business District of Thesalloniki, that will be continued, with the years to come.
So the first thing we’ve started with, was what we don’t like as ideas for this area. It is fearly close to the harbour, on the south and it is completely cut of by the main railway from the north, when it comes to comunications. The area is surounded by industrial buildings but we defenetly didn’t want our project to be one of those so called: “closed complexes”, mainly because we want to extend the lacking connections and because we also have many ideas outside of the competition area for further development of the area.
But now to the current project, one of the biggest “issues” of the are are the herritage buildings, that need to remain. And one particular building the “Porto Palace” Hotel, is really standing up as a issue, simply because the structure cuts the terrain in half. So we decided to use that little problem of ours and to structure our recriation area on the small terrain remaining west from the hotel. Not only that but one of the remaining buildings on that part of the terrain can be used as a main building for the recreation center, perfect rigt? Well yes, but we ware not entierly sure if we could use the old buildings that remain on the terrain for new purposes or not, so we decided since they will be a part from this new Disctrict, they sould have a new functions, in order to blend in the picture. We only hope this is not against the rules of the competition.
Anyway, so what about the eastern side of the hotel. We track all the remaining building on this side, and it was possable to put one main walk way between them, that is parallel with the 26-th October boulevard, and can connect the entire eastern part of the hotel. So there’s the core of our project, after that we kept the configuration of the streets as they ware on the north side of the boulevard, and it all came visible to the eye. The 10 areas closed by the streets and the main walk way, now need functions. Tree out of ten terrains ware ocupied by old buildings, so we decided to develop the empty ones first. We started with the long thin terrain south of the main wal way, and decided this area will remain as a begining of a future park, that will be closed between Achelou str. and I.Koleti str. on west and east, by the main walk way on north, and some new street on south in the future. Every park need a Gallery right, so we introduce “Nkaleri Parkon” our gallery and exhibition center, right next to the future park with over 8 500 sq.m. exhibition area.
Now we have 5 empty terrains and no office buildings so far. The first two office buldings ware the four towers “Tessera Towers” north-west from the park. With over 35 000 sq.m. area, placed on the two almost identical terrains, and max hight 126 meters. The second pair of office buildings are on the oposite side of the park (east) – named “Adelfos Towers”, including offices, and executive offices with over 28 000 sq.m. combined area and 121 meters max hight. Last but not least office and shopping center “Ouranos center”,
right next to the “Tessera Towers” with total area over 23 000 sq.m. and 70 meters hight. The building includes small shopping mall, two office sections and sky restaurant, on the last floor. We now have two office areas, so we placed two Parking buildings for each area, one just west, from bussiness center west, and one just south from bussiness center east.
Between the bussines center east and west, we now need food and beverage facilities, so we decided to put to good use the old buildings, and making them into restaurants, bars, coffe shops, and old school pubs serving the hungry and thirsty office workers. The last remaining therrain contains two old buildings, one of wich is used as culture center at the moment, and the other one can be turned into a museum. Between the there’s a space for a monument, because what is a Business district without land marks right?
S[eaking of wich we almost forgot, the bridge above Achelou str. with it’s A (alpha) shaped main structure, that helps for the safe cross of the street, true the main walkway (image 6). Now that’s is some landmark.
And there you have it, we wanted to keep it short and simple, we can’t say who we are, but we hope our project is worthy to be the first pice of Thesalloniki’s future Business District. Wish you all have an amazing lifes!