The project concerns the area between Piraeus, Ermou and Iera Odos streets, which is in the middle of Technopolis of the Municipality of Athens (“Gazi”) and of the archeological area of Kerameikos. It aims to the creation of a pole which will complement the other two poles of the Historical Metropolitan Centre of Athens, Syntagma and Omonoia. This proposed pole is going to form the 3rd Square of Athens, reference point proportional to the other two squares, and complete the triangle on which the city’s urban planning is based. The centre of the capital will be read clearly as the centre of three squares – reference point for the city’s urban planning.
The proposal is aiming to the improvement and distinction of the area to a multifunctional, mainly cultural “cell”. This project is also aiming, besides its cultural objectives, to an essential, urban and traffic improvement of an important gate-entrance to west Athens which always constituted main entrance to the city. It will contribute to the development of the historical centre, to the development of the great history of Athens and to the creation of necessary cultural, recreation areas and in general an area for all city events essential for a modern metropolis.
The area between the archeological area of Kerameikos, Gazi and degradation areas of west Athens consists the key and the main reference point for the connection of east and west sections of the city. Peiraios street just like a river separates degradation and developed areas. This project is negotiating the “contexture” of urban area at this part of the city. Kunstalle is considered to be a joint place, with the objective of restoration of urban net and the creation of a pole which will lead to a further development of the degraded west section of the city.
The study refers to general topographic as the intervention area. Individual parts that compose the area which is under examination is Gazi, Kerameikos and the areas from both sides (north and south) of their meeting point. Basic observation of project’s development is the existence of a conceivable shaped square at the "intermezzo" of these four building squares. This sense is strengthened if someone will read the north and south areas as coiling and creation poles of this intermediate-transitional area. Main objective of this study is the creation of this square with a character of "navel" and as an "intermezzo" of important urban events, as well as the reinforcement of poles aiming to the creation of a unified cultural place of Gazi-Kerameikos.
The proposal constitutes in a level of ground plan a fold which develops into three basic parts. The two side parts are based in the northern and southern plots with two large underground parking areas of two floors. In the northern plot, where it constitutes free space in which there is a useless hole of the underground railway, is proposed the Design center. It’s a building with the shape of a huge spiral-ramp which has the aim to lead the visitor to the square via "rooms of applied art". In the southern plot, in which there is the declined building square of Korean district, is planed to be a Congress Centre. It is a big ground foyer of three floors where from its top floor are going down in different heights three buildings which respectively constitute congress areas- amphitheaters. At the boarders of these two plots with the department that was characterized as “intermezzo” are going to be two multi-storey “buildings-galleries” which undertake the vertical communication of these three plots with extra usages per floor (helping areas and wet area in the underground tiles, administration in intermezzo area and recreation in their penthouses). Together with the “corridors” that begin from these with the same geometry and embrace the boundaries of Gazi and Kerameikos, they constitute the poles that will create the intensity - flow in the intermediate, determining at the same time the junction of Gazi and Kerameikos.
However, the central idea of the proposal, Kunsthalle area and the square (which is the intermediate fold) is developing into a place in which a plot doesn’t exist but on the contrary there is a bound that separates the ancient and the modern, the developed and the degrading. It borrows its plot from the part of the plot at Gazi, Kerameikos and part of Peiraios street, which exists at this specific part with the objective to stop separating the unity of Gazi – Kerameikos.
What is however Kunsthalle? The German term Kunsthalle is used in order to declare an area which accommodates “art of the present” without permanent exhibition. It’s an area with an experimental and searching character. The city of Athens, as a metropolis lacks of a contemporary art show room. The Greek term Kunsthalle follows the two above-mentioned principles of German model, while it constitutes a centre of artistic creation, a big hall of contemporary art, an area of modern creation following the logic of "streetlife". It could accommodate Greek and international cultural quests, constitute an international art meeting acquiring in this way super local usage.
Geometrically, Kunsthalle has a double character. It is constituted by a floor, the "down square" and an elevated course - path. The down square links floors, constitutes an intermezzo in a big shaped unity of the large cultural park of Gazi-Kerameikos constituting the entrance of these two areas. It increases the flow between the two unities functioning as a filter of the city. The elevated course is a street above the road, trapped at the grid of columns (with orientation to North-South) of the building. The flow of this street which symbolic joins Gazi and Kerameikos, wishes the converse with the flow of Iera Odos. Acquires the character of a peripatetic archway between the two squares (up and down square), and follows the same geometrical principles with ancient remains. The same building pursues to take part in Kunsthalle’s event. It functions as capacitor of past and present and Kunsthalle is the accelerating part.
The loft of Kunsthalle constitutes the upper square. It’s big and lightly inclined, so as to strain the “deck’s” flow, which has the logic of a big boat deck. It wishes to accommodate, besides all daily needs of any square, circumstantial urban events, as well as shows, concerts and other similar events. It constitutes a “belvedere”. It provides a view from the top of the city, Gazi and Kerameikos with the look going up to Acropolis.
In conclusion, we emphasize the meaning of exhibition in this specific project. Design center is the exhibition of objects, Kunsthalle is the exhibition of art work, congress is the exhibition of ideas while at last the square constitutes the exhibition of the city itself and of its residents.