All about fish

14 February, 2013

All about fish

Market. Fishing museum. Fishing school at the Patra fish market area.

Greek version

Student: Triantafyllos Mammasis
Supervising professors: Nelli Marda, Constantinos Moraitis
Consultant: Constantinos Karadimas
National Technical University of Athens
Date of presentations: July 2012

The existence of a fish market in the centre of Patra city and its close connection to the urban net urged me to choose this specific diploma project theme.

Patras fish market, the third largest fish market in Greece, was built in the '60s and is considered to be the primary hub of fish-trafficking across Peloponnisos and the islands of the Ionian Sea. Situated at the end of Trion Navarchon pedestrian area, the market combines perfectly, in terms of location, with the city's lighthouse, both forming an interesting promenade and a unique fishing spot.

The proposal refers to a contemporary fishing centre in the area of the currently existing fish market, a meeting centre for amateur and professional fishermen from all Western Greece. Aiming at the development of fishing tourism, a range of facilities are designed, with a view to informing, educating and actively accommodating the hosts with different types of fishing.

As the Chinese proverb states: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."



The primary intention of this synthetic process is the "stitching" of city and sea. That's why the buildings have not been planned independently of or isolated from the existing urban landscape but forming a specially designed continuation of the pedestrian area. Apart from the designing methods, the new waterfront and the pedestrian area connect in the level of urban land uses; the prevailing land uses of the ground floor on the pedestrian zone (leisure and relaxation, commerce) continue inside the new project.

More specifically, unlike the gridding city's net, the ground of the waterfront breaks into "ventalia pieces". Parts of the "ventalia" start to rise, forming the two main building blocks; symbolically Trion Navarchon looks similar to a "herringbone" and the buildings like its "tail". Inside the boundaries formed by the two buildings is located the heart of the synthesis, protected from the traffic and the street noise. It's strongly defined by a linear element of water that starts from the sea and reaches the pedestrian area. It can be referred to as a symbolic revival of the ancient channel that started from Goddess Dimitra's sanctuary of Demeter and ended within the "upper town", today's Psilalonia area; a "river", formed in the heart of the synthesis, functioning as an open exhibition of marine vessels. Meanwhile, the pedestrians can move to both riversides or to cross it vertically over pontoon bridges.



_ Focusing on the designed space

A series of architectural elements, placed on the "broken" ground arrange the space. More specifically:

The "fish tail"
The "fish tail" consists of two building blocks designed following the style of relative slippage. The northern volume slides more than the south - leading through a bridge to the new lighthouse of the city. The same style is used in the northern volume slabs: the ground floor slab slides more than the first floor one, creating a terrace towards the sunset.

The interior of the northern volume is characterized by free plans and big internal heights. Vertical elements that connect both floors (linear staircases, elevators, vertical dividing panels) organize the movement, as well as the construction frame, which is exposed and looks like a "backbone". The prestressed beams of the frame construction simulate a modern version of the corresponding frame of the existing fish market. Sliding glass doors are preferred, because they allow the inside and outside integration.

A large scale market of local products combined with a smaller fish market are located on the ground floor of the building, as well as a water-taxi office - an alternative means of transportation along the city (possible water paths could connect the piers or Patras - Rio, Antirrio, Nafpaktos). On the other hand, the second floor is occupied by a coffee bar and four open cuisine restaurants, where local and international recipes based on fish will be cooked. Moreover, small shops fill the rest of the space (a bookstore, a fishing monger's, cookery stores etc).

The southern volume includes the fishing school and the museum. The design of the museum provides the visitor with the possibility to have a magnificent experience. Following a linear path that forms a three-dimensional spiral, the visitor may wander through different levels of the exhibition, all encircling the basic exhibit - a pendulous wooden boat frame. That way, the visitor gets the opportunity to observe different perspectives of the exhibit as well as collect other information. At the bottom level, a linear underwater window exhibits the keels of the vessels that appear inside the "river". At the same level an aquarium, whose glass ceiling is visible from the external of the museum, hosts different types of fish inhabiting the Patraikos Gulf. The spiral ends, through a ramp, at the first floor of the building where a gift shop and the entrance of the amphitheater can be found. Finally, the second floor is occupied by the fishing school classrooms, a library and a small coffee bar.

The "container" building
The existing fish market gets restored and extended. The most interesting part of the building is the auction room and its construction frame, consisting of prestressed beams that bridge a long space. An easily and quickly construction, as well as low cost re-use of the commercial port's containers, is selected to create the extension of the building. A heavy, independent structure cooperates with the existing shelter and collects various processes: the ground floor is occupied by the "wet" procedures, whilst on the first floor the offices and other supportive rooms are located. The linear first floor movement allows the observation of all ongoing procedures occurring on the ground and the corresponding changes in the nature of the auction throughout its 24-hour operation.

The new "lighthouse"
The existing lighthouse at the end of Trion Navarchon pedestrian area, which was built in 2000 as an absolute duplicate of the old lighthouse, is proposed to be demolished. A new contemporary landmark moves into its place, constructed a long way from the coast, so that it can face both the city and the opposite shore. Furthermore, in the new "lighthouse" water level a contemporary "Vina" exhibition is designed. (*vina is a traditional artificial sheltered gulf into the sea, where fish get caught and cannot escape - it can be found in many Greek islands.)

The "cranes"
Steel trusses bridge the building distances and pick up the movement of pedestrians and goods. Their form and construction frame is reminiscent of the cranes that are used for transporting containers in the Patras commercial port.

The "hook"
A sheltered bay in the continuation of the waterfront is designed as a place of safe swimming and water games. It's mostly outdoors even though a sheltered bar is included. Its form is reminiscent of a hook or a claw of land that grabs the sea.



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