The subject of this project is to examine the processes that allow the installation of marginal groups, people and functions in central urban areas, as well as the tolerance and the resistances of the dominant social groups to this installation.
This project is developed in two main parts. The first part is a desk research of the meanings of “margin” and “centre”, by which the “margin” is defined, the way they are created, their boundaries and the relationship between them. Using the concepts of “community” and “social networks”, the allocation of social groups within the urban web (city centre, districts, suburbs) is studied, and it focuses on their installation in central areas of the city.
In the second part, the desk research is applied to a building in the centre of Thessaloniki. It is about one of the two historical buildings that are located in Nea Agora on Basileos Iraklioy St. 35 and its ground floor is a part of the afore-mentioned market. The rooms in this three-storey building are used as living quarters for immigrants, young vendors that allegedly are drug-users and mechanics who are on retirement pension, but there are also some laboratories and warehouses. Firstly, an attempt is made to explore the nature of the surrounding area, as it has been formed with the pass of time, in order to understand the mechanisms that have allowed the degradation of the building and the installation of marginal groups in such a central area of Thessaloniki. Moreover, its uses and the physiognomy of its users are described and there is also a presentation of three of its homes. Finally, the temporary tolerance of the city towards the building is interpreted, until there is proposition for the construction of a new building and the replacement of its inhabitants and uses.