Redesigning the «Alana»

09 March, 2016

Redesigning the «Alana»

Network of cultural promenade and educational activities.

Greek version

Students: Bakali Marina-Dafni, Papageorgiou Charilaos
Supervisor: Panos-Loukas Exarchopoulos, George Papagiannopoulos, Helen Amerikanou, Kostis Keventsidis
Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Architectural Engineering
Presentation date: October 2015



A miniature of a city, a neighborhood, where the everyday individual occupations of residents become a joint issue. As a reference point of the area, is the pursuit of expression and communication through the collaboration of all ages. A continual promenade of knowledge, occupation and entertainment, in an open space in the junction of education and culture.

Fundamental goal became the design of a complex which constitutes a "melting pot" of uses and gathering, incorporated in the natural environment, that maintains the natural boundaries of the "alana". A miniature of a city, that constitutes not only reference point for the residents but also a motive for consistent communication, just by designing pedestrian zones and squares.

From the beginning, some basic synthetic principles were developed. Since we refer to an area with high relief, there was the idea passer to enter from any level and be able to wander to the whole plot. Thus, we create a network of promenade at all levels, that connects all uses and the areas, East and West, where the main entrances designed. Therefore, a grid with primary and secondary network is created, providing the uses, with one aerial square in the final level. For better use of this network, the workshops were selected to be placed like units in composition. Independent volumes that stand out from the rest system, having direct access to public places. In addition, it was necessary the existence of an internal upward path, for better function of the premises, on the facade of public uses, that leads the visitor to the basic levels. At the same time, it was achieved the creation of a central space-an atrium in the middle of the composition, a square in the center of public spaces, entrances and detonations thereto. A social core, that constitutes a reference point for the design of the whole synthesis.

Specifically, the complex was designed as not to exceed the monument of prison and the height of the surrounding buildings. At the same time, two pedestrian walkways were designed, vertical to each other, for achieving the cooperation with the residents. Evaluating the boundaries of the plot, some existing green areas maintained the old character of the "alana" and its natural margins, distancing the building from the hectic road traffic. As a parallelism with Yedi Kule, walls were designed, so as to define boundaries for the complex and to create a secondary promenade, like a "ribbon" that gives another path, where visitor can see the building from a different point of view.

Furthermore, the site we have chosen is located in the municipality of Neapolis-Sykeon, in Thessaloniki and it is the sequel of the monument, Yedi Kule, which is also the terminal of "Cultural promenade", a city's landmarks network, starting with the White Tower. In the northern part, is the grove of Sykeon, where theatrical performances and festivals are taking place. Taking into consideration the two sides above, the proposal that arises is the extension of the promenade to the grove and a union of cultural events.

Moreover, education areas in correspondence with the green zones, seem to congregate around the site. It was therefore considered that a zone of an educational promenade can be created, which will exploit the uses of the building, in order school curriculum to be enhanced.

In this way, the redesign of the site obtains a significant role, since it is situated at the intersection of two zones. A stopover of the cultural promenade and a gathering area of educational activities.

According to questionnaires that were distributed to the inhabitants, it was observed that there are several shortcomings in different areas and they address to specific age groups. Residents pointed out the need for additional scientific training and advisory assistance, as well as some laboratory sections. Finally, there was a desire for the expansion of the children's library with more specific sectors.

In the field of culture, the events that take place on an annual basis are minimal and in buildings for different uses. Cultural activities develop scheduled hours and are accessible to few. Therefore, the proposal was the creation of workshops, for all ages, so in conjunction with the exhibition space, the experimental theater and the projection room to reinforce their promotion. Moreover, there will be provided venues which will host young artists, who will contribute to the better function of the sector. In addition, it is recommended to create a venue of amphitheater and events to host different activities of the building, as well as the existence of a refectory and a store for advertising the products. Finally, groups and guests will be resided in the Hosting Center.

Therefore, on the South side of the plot, educational uses were placed, in order to have direct contact with the neighboring school. In the North, the host houses placed, next to the pedestrian walkway, so it can maintain its autonomy. The library and the dining room are placed on the West side, in order to have enough contact with local residents, while the remaining uses are organized around the atrium,  so as to collaborate with each other and to give ''life'' to entire building.



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