Fields of Urban Recreation
(Urban Design Competition Entry 2013)
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Project team: Alex A. Tsolakis, Bastian Wibranek,
Pandian S. Mahesh, Ceren Kiraz
Consultancy: Fenia Moschopoulou, Fania Persakis
Whereas architectural qualities are intensive; a square design is the ultimate wall-free public space, to explore the idea of thresholds within field conditions.
This Square proposal is an example of a process of composing a ‘whole out of parts.’ The unit is the micro-square. Each of the micro-squares grows and branches from the 4 pedestrian routes and develops towards the center of the site in a linear system. This linear system is an architectural tool for regulating the ground edges condition. The interweaving of all units is the ‘Novel Urban Pattern.’ Each micro-square consists of the same material and grows based on the same geometrical system, maintaining global differentiation and local integration. Diversification is achieved through variation, offering to users, the same architectural quality but different experience. Repeating multiple symmetries, the system produces an apparent global simplicity and also a local complexity. The four micro-squares kiss each other without, however, intersecting nor merging. The void of the geometric diagram is the green core.
The city’s exosceleton and its urban flows feed the site canvas with information. The site canvas becomes a multi-directionality vector field. The vectors begin at the 4 points on the outline of the site, while the direction is defined by the other points of visual connection. Vectors create lines, lines generate an urban grid, the grid regulates the growth of each unit (micro-square) and ultimately a ‘Novel Urban Pattern’ is generated. A pattern that is more than graphic; it is a tectonic pattern, a pattern of topological transformations. Each stripe – the area between 2 edges – represents an other material, and every z-elevation to the pattern reveals the thickness of it.
The new urban pattern is a visual labyrinth, a complex of linear paths and linear gardens, reminding that urban recreation is more than a simple transition from A to B. A square seen as a soft public ground – as if it is shaped by the user’s desire and activities.