Interactive Center for the tradition of Epirus in Ioannina

22 May, 2013

Interactive Center for the tradition of Epirus in Ioannina

In Epirus a significant proportion of citizens are engaged with culture and tradition.

Greek version

Students: Paidas Eleftherios, Pliatsikas Dimitrios
Supervisors: Xanthi Theoni, Loukopoulos Dimitrios, Papagiannopoulos Georgios
Democritus University of Thrace - Department of Architectural Engineering
Date of presentation:  15 November 2012



In Epirus a significant proportion of citizens are engaged with culture and tradition. The term tradition means the manners and customs inherited from generation to generation. The main areas of the Epirus' culture are:

- Folk dances
- Singing
- Music
- Clothing
- Cooking
- Architecture
- Silver and golden miniatures design

To ensure the existence and continuation of the tradition, we decided to design a building in which the traditions and customs of our region will be reintroduced in a new way, in order to study them in depth, revive them, modernize them and finally present them  to the public.

In the prefecture of Ioannina, 318 cultural associations have been established. 72 of them are located in the city of Ioannina. A great percentage of those associations do not own a locale for their activities. Thus, they are under the compulsion of hiring one. Most of these places are inconvenient and extremely expensive to hire. The result of this situation is that the members of the associations are forced to pay for the hire discouraging the members from participating in the activities of the associations.

For this reason, we decided to design a building that will provide to the cultural associations the ability to operate freely without the problem of housing and the anxiety of losing its members.

In search of the appropriate site to host this building, we concluded to use the site that was formerly the station of the intercity buses.

The reasons why this decision was taken are:

- The site was at the boundary between the old and the new town.
- City landmarks are within a walking distance from the site
- Easy to reach

The aim of our efforts is to create the conditions to achieve the co-existence of all cultural associations in a public place. The result will hopefully get their members to exchange views, ideas and information in unison towards the study, revival, modernization and promotion of the traditional culture to the public.

So we proceeded in:

- Use of clear and unbuilt sub regions near the site
- Alignment of the building with the surrounding area and the urban fabric.
- Create pedestrian routes through the site.
- Putting plants in densely built environment of the region.
- Reduction of car traffic on one side of the plot (Pedestrian Street) and the increase of pedestrian traffic in and around it.

We create a single building with strong fronts in adjacent streets continuing the infrastructural plan.

Inside the building there are:

- Ballrooms
- Music and vocal classes
- Exhibition rooms
- Workshops
- Management office with a small library for the public
- A four hundred-people event hall
- A small flat hall and a cafeteria.
- Bureau and utility rooms

At the outdoor area:

- Creation of an internal yard to serve the outdoor activities of the associations.
- Creation of necessary public squares by the building
- Turn a small road by the site to a pedestrian street in order to facilitate the movement of pedestrians and revitalize the area.
- Creation of two main public routes into the site to better integrate the building with the city.
- Creation of outdoor and semi-outdoor routes to serve the functions of the building.
- Developing places of natural soil and plantings to deal with the dense construction in the area.

We compose a work that tries to blend the construction of a building with the formation of the outdoor space which will be easily accessible by all citizens and visitors. The building will be a new landmark of the city due to its mass and the workings that will be hosted in it. We believe that the facilities we have in this complex (ballrooms, music and vocal classes, exhibition rooms, workshops, performances hall) and the way we have organized the interior of the building and the outdoor area, will contribute to the maintenance and development of our tradition.

We all ought to realize the importance of studying the past, because it will give us significant means to cope with the difficulties of the future.



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