Subverting the non use

26 March, 2012

Subverting the non use

Remodeling and reintegration of the ‘Papapetrou' tobacco warehouse.

Greek version

Students : Apostolia Gesouli, Anna Kostopoulou
Supervising professors:  St. Gyftopoulos, E. Efesiou
Consulting professor:  E.Klabatsea
National Technological University of Athens
Date : March 2011

The thesis project makes an attempt to re-approach the major for the city of Agrinion issue of the 'Papapetrou' abandoned warehouse, in all synthetic, urban, structural and social fields. 6.500μ² invisible to the city claim through the proposal to recapture the site around them, and host a new complex of teaching and cultural uses, seeking to rise attention towards a reading of the persecuted historical traces that lie in the body of the indifferent provincial cement scenery of the city.



The thesis was elaborated during the period 4|2009_3|2011, and processes the creative reformation of the abandoned tobacco warehouse 'Papapetrou' in Agrinio. The elaboration evolved through different scales: from the city level and their reintegration, up to the construction system of the new intervention. As in most Greek provincial towns, the obsession with anything new, detached from the past and the 'pestilential' occupation with tobacco, that once defined the economic and urban development, led to uncontrolled, casual reconstruction with an outcome of the current image. The architectural heritage gradually disappears, the landmarks are missing, forming a picture of the city without memory and identity as a result of indifference and ignorance of its inhabitants. The choice of Papapetrou tobacco warehouses as a subject of study was the result of several features present in a latent potential, a possibility and prospect for a different reading of the historical traces of the city. Such features were the large size, central location and most of all the way in which the contemporary constructions and the modern society approached them. A huge industrial housing within the urban fabric, architectural product of arrogance that stands suspended and crowded together, unable to integrate into the environment. 6.500m2 invisible to the city, an inactive urban gap that is not valued either as two-dimensional setting.  After the relief and the analytic reading of the present situation, the building is treated not as untouchable monument, but as a living organism that has the potential to be transformed and reactivated, constituting a new mean of reconnection of the city with its past and memories, embedding new conditions that will meet the contemporary needs of the residents. The new uses are selected based on proximity to educational buildings and the commercial center, and the lack of experiential sites in terms of culture. With the belief that the historic shell should concern the entire city and be an active part of its quotidian life, the proposal includes extensive spaces of permanent and temporary exhibitions, public children's library, auditorium, cafe-restaurant, art workshops. We identified characteristics now non-functional, such as the 16 identical rooms and the non-sense of orientation within the enclosure. Others, such as the spiral development and an almost theatrical movement in the narrow central space, the current materials, are maintained and provide pretexts for further processing. The synthetic approach has evolved through the implementation of a conceptual central idea but was built step by step, deriving from the need to create new grades within the alternation of full and empty, open and double height spaces, where routes and uses overflow outside the contour making inner and shell a single functional group with structural links. The idea starts with the maintenance of the two principal façades and features a new, organic synthesis, unfolding between these two limits, restructuring the existing rigid form to a new dynamic balance, in dialogue with the existing static, expressed with corten steel perforated or concrete in places. Creating a space outside the border of the old building, keeping it intact, transforming aspects of organic and functional parts of the new asymmetric synthesis. In addition to treatment interventions in form and function, raises the question of their material expression, and how will the existing building accept  the new form that will evolve among the set of relations of texture, distance and consistency to be developed between the two. With surgeries in the surrounding site, with a transformation of the building that invokes while it declines the past, it is possible to change, creating a sustainable solution as it is not only what happened in the building in the past that matters, but the dynamics of what may still happen in the future ...




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