architect. | Ecological Social Housing (32 Houses) in “Thessaloniki”

Ecological Social Housing (32 Houses) in “Thessaloniki”

Awards:

– 2nd Prize in the European Competition Ο.Ε.Κ.-SIKA 2010

– Shortlisted as one of the best architectural projects of the years 2009-2012 and participated in the 7th Biennale of Young Greek Architects (Nov. 2012)

Design Team:

Aristides S. Dallas, Alexia Katsakiori, Vasiliki Gialia


SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECT

The project in question deals with the design of a social housing complex in the vicinity of Thessaloniki, Greece. The actual architectural proposal is founded on three basic principles: firstly, the surface modification of the earth configuration where the residential units will be placed; secondly, the creation of the units themselves, distinguished in type A (90 m2 with two bedrooms) and type B (110 m2 with 3 bedrooms) residences; finally, the invention of a shelter-form binding element which will unify the units as well as organise their entrances and attics.

 

In particular, the entire building plot is divided into longitudinal zones of movement and residences, on the South-North axis. Simultaneously, the earth is curved so that the private yard level can be elevated above that of the common use spaces. Consequently, the residents’ viewpoint is raised above the city roads and the traffic, while enabling people with disabilities to move uninhibited in the stair-free settlement.

 

As regards the residences themselves, the key concept is the repetition of the same unit, the standard form of which is an apparent-concrete tube of specific dimensions. Its smaller sides’ materiality gives the impression of openness to allow unobstructed airflow and sunlight throughout the edifice. Each tube has a semi outdoor space formed by means of a glass, wooden, or metal paneling seemingly retreating at the smaller side of the tubes.

 

The type A housing unit consists of two tubes in a relation of slipperiness, while the addition of an attic produces residences type B, always on the upper level. The first of the tubes, sealing with glass windows, which allow plenty of sunlight in and offer nice view, includes the common use everyday spaces (i.e. the kitchen, always placed in the North, and the living-room, always placed in the South, respectively). The second tube comprises the private spaces (i.e. 2 bedrooms-WC-bathroom-skylight). Placed independently at the edges to ensure natural light and airflow, the bedrooms are closed with steady, non-penetrable, wooden or metallic panels. This difference in materiality not only secures the residents’ privacy, but also functions as the morphological expression of the spaces’ distinct use. Finally, forming the core in the tube centre, the bathroom-WC-skylight system serves as the binding element between upper and lower level.

 

The sloping roof, its southern orientation meant to facilitate the installation of photovoltaic systems, is intended to shelter the additional bedroom in type B residences. Besides linking the tubes on both levels and separating the residences, it also designates entrances, and stairs leading to the basement and second floor, while protecting them from the rain and wind.

 

Erected on the geographical fringes of the existing urban area, this complex aspires to establish the beginning of the architectural development for the future expansion of the city, providing a source of inspiration for the subsequent planning of the town-to-be.