In 2000, the Municipality of Thessaloniki launched an International Architectural Competition for the redevelopment of the New Waterfront and in 2006 the construction of the first prize begun. The first part (around 75800m2) was completed in 2008 and the second part (around 163000m2) started in 2011 and was completed in 2014. The total length of the New Waterfront is 3,5km.
The New Waterfront of Thessaloniki is a linear place with relatively limited depth and big length, a fact that gives it the characteristics of a “front”, of a thin layer, inserted on the difficult and challenging limit between land and sea, between natural and constructed landscape. The sea background of the gulf of Thessaloniki, constitutes an amazing scenery, where the ephemeral and mutable elements, create a different atmosphere each time.
For the waterfront of the New Waterfront, two major characteristic areas are distinguished, which set the principles for the basic choices of the proposal.
The breakwater: an ideal place for walking, without interruptions, without distractions. The “walker” is exposed to the light, to the open perspective, and has a continuous walk on the charming limit between two opposites: the stability of the massive breakwater – the instability and lucidity of the liquid element.
The green spaces: at the inner side of the coast, 13 green spaces were formed, as a succession of “green rooms – gardens”, each with a special thematic characteristic. The choice of this term, rooms – gardens, describes the intentions: it is about a sequence of spaces that attempt to maintain the familiar atmosphere of the private, while forming the public space. It’s not about big “parks”, but “rooms” of small size that remind of the domestic gardens that existed in the area and used to reach the natural seashore, before the landfill of the coast.
The names of the gardens are successively: the Garden of Alexander, the Garden of Afternoon Sun, the Garden of Sand, the Garden of Shadow, the Garden of Seasons, the Garden of Odysseas Fokas, the Garden of Mediterranean, the Garden of the Sculptors, the Garden of Sound, the Garden of Roses, the Garden of Memory, the Garden of Water, the Garden of Music.