Volos is a city of 125000 inhabitants and home to approximately 12 faculties of the university of Thessalia, thus hosting thousands of students belonging to different scientific fields. In spite of that, however, there is no congressional centre for the realization of scientific congresses, lectures and presentations. These manifestations are hosted in hotel rooms, in the university amphitheatres which are of very small capacity, or in the Spirer building. The Municipal Theatre, which has a hall suitable for occasions like these, is often used by the Art Organisation of the Municipality of Volos for the realization of concerts, theatrical plays and other cultural performances.
For all the above reasons, the creation of a large, modern conference centre in the city of Volos is considered necessary so that it can host scientific congresses ,presentations and exhibitions, thus covering the needs not only of the city, but also of the broader area.
The building site under consideration is located at the foot of the hill of
Goritsa ,on the boundaries of the city. It stands on the central road artery between Volos and Argalasti (an extension of Polymeri street) which is one of the entrances to the city and which connects Volos to the area of Agria and the villages of Pilio.
It belongs to the coastal sea front of the city and has a view of the sea. Up until a few years ago there was a quarry in the area, which explains the looks of the location as it is today.
The design of the building was based morphologically on the picture of the quarry, and an effort was made to achieve interaction between the construction and the landscape, through reference made to the previous use of the specific location.
Below the main building there is a parking area with a basement and a ground floor, which functions as a pedestal creating a elevated square on its ceiling. Between them there is an indention on which the mechanical floor has been placed in order to separate the two bulks. This floor is interrupted at some point, thus allowing the communication of the square with a country area which is formed between the building and the hill.
The entrance of the vehicles is made either through the basement or through the part of the ground floor of the parking area which communicate with each other with a ramp, while the entrance for the pedestrians is made through a staircase from the first floor. Visitors head towards the foyer of the amphitheatre and then encounter the indoor stairways and the conference halls which have been designed as cores floating in space. In some cases these cores adjoin the outer shell so that the necessary natural light can be achieved. Spaces are created among them where permanent or periodical exhibitions can be hosted. Administration offices, a room with electronic computers and the restaurant have been placed on the last floor, taking advantage of the fact that they look over sea and the city.
The visible concrete was chosen as the basic material for the whole construction, in this way trying to achieve the feeling of unsteadiness and the variability that characterize a quarry. This brutalistic aesthetics is intensified even more through the use of grey metal door and window frames and blinds on the front of the construction.
On the floor of the square , apart from concrete which is coloured white in some parts, gravel as well as stone from the specific area co-exist. Finally, the splintering of the surface becomes more vivid with the presence of water.