11 December, 2014


Community Empowerment in the interspace of an old Textile.

Greek version

Student : Samiou Adamantia
Supervisors : Ougrinis Konstantinos-Alketas, Gianoudis Socrates
Department of architecture, TUC
Presentation date : 26 February 2014

This thesis deals with the restoration of theinactive textile factory 'Retsina' in the city life. After the experiential analysis of the characteristics of neighborhoods of Piraeus and the desire for activating and strengthening community action, a new narrative starts. Through point operations, designed routes, movements, sightings, the old factory of 'Retsina' is functioning again as multiplex, strengthening the sense of neighborhood.

During a search of the theme of the design thesis, a tour in the districts of Piraeus commenced. The specific nature of regions is particularly evident. The combination of empty spaces and densely populated city blocks, the zigzags and the strictly designed roads, congested areas and abandoned tracks, the absence of organized relief sites and the tendency of residents to cover this absence through a domestication of the streets, compose a multi-dimensional environment- the genius loci of neighborhoods.



In a first reading, we can understand the relationship developed by the user and the urban landscape. According to Takis Zenetos, the relationship of the user with the landscape can be described through three modern versions of the body. The 'hunched' man, the 'upright' man, the 'in-flight' man. The designs of the paving, the lines on the surface of the earth, the narrow paths and terraces can be read and experienced with eyes turned towards the earth. The process of understanding the landscape through front views and materiality is made with the human body in a radical upright position. The figures that are found above the level of the ground are elements that might not be directly visible from the view of the upright man, however, they are integral parts of the urban landscape for man "in flight." All these elements will be the occasion for the formation of synthetic principles in surgical field.



The tour of the neighborhoods of Piraeus, resulted in the former textile factory 'Retsina', a region located at the crossroads, a few meters away from the port of Piraeus, bridging the area of Agios Dionysios and the densely populated area of 'Kokinia' and 'Lefka'. The 26 acres of the total area form a triangular surface, clearly circumscribed. The north side consists of a continuous front, which is traversed by a low traffic street. The western front, on the road of Thibon, is also a continuous front, which reveals the only entrance of the complex. Finally, on the eastern side, the rails of the suburban train create an inaccessible border.



While analyzing the characteristics of the region, one can observe the lack of green spaces, the lack of education buildings, the existence of several unused spaces, finally, the majority of populated areas. Approaching the derelict buildings 'Retsina' from the perspective of new multi-functional center, will lead to the reintegration of the city as an important reference point in the consolidation of fragmented neighborhood.

As a key planning tool for the architectural composition, the route used.  Four basic paths which cross the complex are proposed. Each route can be defined through i) the views of the respective building volumes, ii) the uses located adjacent to it and on it, finally, iii) the materiality of both building blocks and pavings.
i) The processing of faces in the study area is achieved with point interventions, based on the human scale. The size and position of the various exposures have been studied in relation to the uses housed in building volumes, in order to create visual sights of the inside of the buildings, as well as, the entry and exit points of the complex.
ii) The proposal of the building program includes commercial uses, recreation, culture, education and green spaces. The importance of building program relies on multiplicity, since in each building a variety of uses is housed.
iii) Finally, the materiality is a key element in the design of these routes. The variety of materials and colors make up a peculiar environment, mark a recognizable character and invite the user to domesticate the street!


More specifically, on the road Thibon the drilling of the united front is proposed through the creation of various openings that allow frequent accesses and optical connections and the configuration of the paving in such a manner as to be distinguishable by the user. recreational uses are accommodated inside the building volumes, but also in their courtyards.

On the road Hymettus hosting a closed and an open-air market is proposed. The fragmentation of the united front, is therefore, suggested. Beyond serving the needs of the market, this proposal aims at the integration of the residential front with the area of 'Retsina'. Along the route there are placed, stretched membranes that help protect against the weather conditions.

Within the area of study, the intermediate space is designed, consisting of paths and terraces. The building program is configured to achieve co-location within the day-use culture, education and recreation. The diagrams of movement are based both on the ground plan as well as on the sections.


Through the design of embankments and planting of the west side of the area of study, the green section is created, consisting of parts of urban agricultural fields, low planting routes and high green squares.


Finally, in response to the activation of the inactive textile 'Retsina', the localization, activation and reintegration to city life of other inactive buildings is proposed. Through the  the extension and continuity of paths that start from the area of study to the rest of the region, residents will have the opportunity to cover domesticate the public spaces, cover their needs and reinforce their sense of neighboring.




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