09 December, 2011


Re - definition of its history.

Greek version

Student : Chatzipavli Marianna
Supervising professors : Gkaniatsas Vasilios
Consultant : Micha Iirini
National Technical University of Athens
Date : July 2011


«...An old silent movie that stands inactive on the selves resembles an old ruined house: you should reveal its beauty behind its remnants, you should revive it, make it usable again giving through this happiness to the audience, to the spectators, to the users.
" time goes by..."
"...tying the old with the new into the eternal axis..."...»

Giannis Chatzigogas, To sinema tou architektona, University Studio Press 2004



Can the history of a place be its basic designing tool?
Every effort of designing the urban place "stumbles" on the History of the city, regardless the scale of the designing intervention. History contains a very significant aspect of "time". So, the city is built in layers, where all together and each one itself create our past. The distant and the near one. History and its contribution in urban design is sure and confirmed. We have strong arguments so as to disincline every possible opposite aspect.

We are thinking, we are cogitating, we are wondering and above all we are designing. We are designing for Eleusis. Eleusis is a town where its past, its history, conflicts in a very intense way. Here the history of a town appears only its "beginning" and its "end". The ancient time and the industrial one. The historical layers are being put the one above the other. But here we have a spacial "puzzle" which does not have all its pieces. The ancient and the contemporary history exist so close and they are trying to co-exist so uncomfortable. So, we want to create a "potential puzzle" in space.

Urban design is the basic aim.


We use the town and its historical layers, as our main designing tool. The town itself asks to give its next image. So, we give a "connection system" which depends on the re-definition of the role that history has in contemporary urban fabric. The new role of spacial situations. Which was the meaning of the historical places when they were created and which is now that they continue to exist? Taking the above idea as our basic guide, we create a "system" of memory - movement - standing - action.

A single operating - morphological space system being fed from the axes that the town itself has created.


It was the place of the moral and material prosperity. It was the place for the changing of the human inner world as well as the changing for the outer one. Today, this place is a place of Memory. It's one of the basic elements for our personal and social self - knowledge.
This place is an optical and spacial landmark not only for the city of Eleusis but mainly for its habitants and visitors.

We re-define its role into the contemporary city through four basic operations:

1. Redefinition of sanctuary limits
Giving the natural hill back to the city
Partly removal of active industry
The formation of the "entrance-exit" of the archeological place

It was the beginning of a new economical situation when the small agricultural settlement changed into one of the most significant productive poles.
Today, this is our recent History.
That History is called to play a new role into the city. Now, it should be the "connection-exit" of the ancient sanctuary to the sea. That exit is materialized through uses which show the importance of the archeological place for the contemporary city. Besides we set forms which revive the memory of the agricultural elements.

The fundamental element of our proposal is the revival of the Iera odos.
Iera odos is not only a "line" into place, but now it is taking a material form. It's a clear form, the skeleton of our proposal. Iera odos is an absolute element which is crossing the space with uncompromising determination.
And its ending point is... the sea.
"Iera odos" means passing.
In Ancient years, Iera odos had 20.5km legth.
It was connecting Keramikos with Eleusis through the region of Eleonas, Megara, Viotia and Peloponisos.

It was one of the most important political, military and processional axes.
Its width was about five meters. Iera odos was constructed from natural stones mixed with with soil. At the two sides of the road there were graves, funerary monuments, sanctuaries and temples.

At the last part of Iera odos, before the entrance of the Sanctuary, people were reaching at a spacial "void" where got together before their entrance into the yard of the Sanctuary. In that place, today exists the Iroon quare. This square is the central square of Eleusis. For me, this is the entrance location of the contemporary archeological place. The archeological place is extending out of its material limits, if they exist, using the beaten soil, which is crossing only by a wooden light raised path, the Iera odos. At the two sides of this central path there are "the sedentary islets" or the "spolia".

All that natural spacial "void" (opening) is separated from the urban fabric using high herbaceous planning, creating a location of memory.

It's a place where all the "roads" are leading here, to the square. Finally, Iera odos, not only at its beginning part but also at its ending one, is surrounded from elements which are placed rhythmically. These elements are:

the olive trees, the stands, the columns, which all together revive the processional process.

The "limit" of the archeological place includes only the Ancient Sanctuary and the Acropolis. That "limit" takes four different forms so as to speak with the city. The natural hill is being opened to the city. So, we extend the stone path which there is on the hill, and now is a part of the closed archeological place, to the city and to the sea. The hill is transformed into an interactive element of the city and stops to be an inaccessible and incomprehensible urban location. The cultivation revives at the south part of the proposal (Votris - Eleourgiki) "besieging" radically the Sanctuary.

The industrial heritage is being reused but between it and the hill we have the revival of Ancient Stadium with a new form. So, we propose a flat natural location full of beaten soil. That location is a filter between the Sanctuary and the old in - active industry, as well as is used as the exit of the suggestive cultural place.

Finally, the whole suggestive system ends to the sea via three "legs":

A. Iera odos (wooden platform)
Industrial Heritage (reuse of the old industrial platform as a small place of entertainment)
Natural "stone path" (a small wooden watchtower)



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