Urban integration and reuse of the former paper industry of Ladopoulos in Patras

20 February, 2011

Urban integration and reuse of the former paper industry of Ladopoulos in Patras

Restructuring of buildings and open air space with use of urban design tools.

Greek version

Student: Lazari Kalliopi- Danai
Supervisor: professors K. Moraitis & N. Belavilas
School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens
Diploma Project Presentation Date: 4/11/2010




Goal of this diploma project is the urban integration and reuse of the former paper industry of Ladopoulos, by creating a cultural center of superlocal interest, which will demonstrate the important industrial history of Patras and the larger area around it (Achaia). The suggested cultural centre includes industrial history museums, temporary exhibitions, a library and art workshops. The building itself and the remaining machinery work a as an exhibit.

Ladopoulos' industry is placed on the south-western edge of the city, is part of the former industrial zone and provides direct accessibility from the city center. Noticing the growing tendency of reintegrating the former industries into the city by reusing empty shells, a linear park was suggested, that takes use of the linear void that will occur in the future by the planned displacement of the railway line. The park creates a direct qualitative connection for pedestrians and cyclists between Ladopoulos industry and the city center, whilst also the neighbourhoods along it and will be relating to specific points of interest along the route.

The big scale of the building complex that is also extremely densely built, induced the need to use urban design tools, for the general layout of the plot but also for dealing with the inner built space. (existing situation: total size of plot= 48.000 m², coverage= 29.000 m², built surface= 48.000 m² )

The urban structure of the plot got clarified by taking off certain volumes of secondary buildings - 'city blocks'; criteria were the bad condition and the lack of important architectural quality.

The reorganization of the indoor and outdoor moves, definition of the access points of the plot and how to deal with its boundaries was a fundamental design issue. The three main access points are addressed to pedestrian visitors. The entrance from the side of the linear park and the neighbourhood was more emphasized.



The square of the complex is placed on the northern part of the plot on the level ±0.00 m., while a part of it on the eastern side near the housing area is lower, on the level -3.60 m.  This is where a garden (giardino segretto) with tree planted slopes, water surfaces and shadow areas is shaped. The limit towards the linear park is not continuous; it gets interrupted by distinguished access points. (materials of outdoor space: mostly pressed earth (stabilizer), rough & smooth concrete marking the basic moves)

The north-western limit of the plot is shaped by an artificial hill and a tree planted area. In this way   that protects the public space of the cultural centre from the noisy street is being created. The slope towards the inside of the plot is gentle, while towards the outside it is clearly steeper so that one perceives it as a limit that provides privacy to the square. A horizontal surface at the level +3.00, that works as  an expansion of the square and the slope, defines a walk connecting the linear park in the back (east) with the frontal part of the plot (west), where it broadens in order to create a second tree planted square on the level +3.00. In this way visual contact with the sea is achieved.

The decongestion of the built space was accomplished by opening up inner 'roads', a 'pedestrian street' (large foyer), a 'square' (enclosed garden), an inside atrium. A throughout move on the axis of east- west was created, that follows the original movement direction inside the factory, parallel to the production line. The problem of the exclusively linear movement, imposed by the production procedure, was solved with creating two new cross movements-'streets': the large foyer for the museums on the ground floor of the west part of the buildings (gathering & exhibition space), and a second internal 'road' in the eastern part.

The great scale of the building complex created the need to define three entrance areas with entrance facilities. Two are part of the extended foyer, while the inner atrium on the previously mentioned axis in the back of the buildings works as an entrance hall for the visitors that are come from the neighbourhood or the linear park.

The enclosed garden (hortus conclusus) with the low vegetation and the water surfaces creates a core in the center of the built space that provides light and correct ventilation.




Reuse strategies

- Detachment of new structures from the existing building shell and structure, 'box in the box' and clear distinction in scale and materials.
- Input of two new vertical connection towers between the three buildings of the main western elevation that connect the buildings and unify the ground floors into a common large foyer.
- Replacement of the oldest building tower due to damages by a new one, that although preserves the proportions of the old one, distinguishes from it through different typology of openings and different materials (metal structure instead of concrete).
- All new structures share the same morphological vocabulary, building methods and materials (metal structure, wooden venetian blinds, light structures and corten for the boxes).

Ending, a big part of the working progress was the design of a new modern warehouses and exhibition building, in the southern part. The three volumes that constitute it are set back in comparison to the existing unit of stone warehouses so that there is a kind of dialog among them, but at the same time the difference between old and new is clear.










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