The project’s main objective is the reconstitution of public space around the White Tower –important historical monument and landmark at the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki- and its link to the East Cultural Axis. The new square created required the partial deviation of the waterfront avenue in order to provide adequate space in front of the monument. The restoration of the surrounding space on its initial foundations’ level was additionally proposed.
The synthetic design procedure explores the principles of centrality, monumentality, strict plan geometry, axis continuity, while refraining to a minimal intervention. The architectural discipline and the design austerity focus more on their long-lasting effect in the city, rather than on the implementation of ephemeral design styles. Special care was taken so as to provide a realistic and viable result.
A trapezoid square is ultimately generated, perspectively opening towards the sea, materializing a system of multiple geometry originating whether from the monument itself, the waterfront pedestrian zone or the tangential East Cultural Axis. Level height difference creates coherent sub-areas at selected locations and of clear and legible shape.
The architectural elements that organize the square constitute of green plots that at the same time operate as zones for sitting. In remembrance of the East City Wall – part of the old city’s fortification- a series of limestone pillars function as a linear kinetic sculpture that seems to move as one walks along. An alley with big trees runs parallel to the pillars as a symbolic exit towards the sea at the point where the old city meets the new.
The New White Tower Square, emerges as a new urban landscape between the contemporary and the historical context, the sea and the inland, the East and the West.