YEDI KULE PROMENADE

Surrounding Space of the Monumental Area of Heptapyrgion, Thessaloniki -GR

Participation in architectural competition, 2012

Architects: Panos Dragonas, Varvara Christopoulou
Landscape design: Stella Pantelia
Associates: Ioanna Lisgara, Dora Moudatsou
 

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The monumental area of Heptapyrgion is a place with rich history and symbolic meaning. The discontinuities and ruptures of Thessaloniki's history have been imprinted on the crumbling walls of the old town. The visitor may still feel the sense of security offered by the walled citadel, as well as the evocative power of the infamous Yedi Kule prison. More recently, new leisure activities such as theatrical performances, concerts and cycle racing, are taking place among and over the medieval ruins.

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The main feature of the design project is a promenade which connects the most important areas of the monumental ensemble. The character of the promenade changes as it is crosses the crumbling walls and is adapted to the particular sense of each area: "inside", "outside" and "above" the walls.

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Inside the walls, the course of the promenade is adapted to the geometry of the fortification architecture. An open theater and sitting areas are created inside the walls, overlooking the fortress and the surrounding archaeological site.

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Outside the walls, at the northern part of the area, a landscape installation recreates the experience of confinement. The promenade passes through three sloping corridors surrounded by corten steel walls. Depending on the direction from which the visitor arrives, the environment is either disclosed or concealed. In this way, the experience of public space recreates the sense of a particularly unwelcoming place, exactly as the Yedi Kule prison used to be.

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At the end of the walk, the promenade continues above the crumbling walls. In this area, an urban agricultural park is created for the residents of the neighborhood and the students of the adjacent schools.

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