The Organization for Permanent Modernity is an office and research group for urban design and architecture.

Redevelopment of the Axis Aghia Sophia-Acheiropoiitos, Thessaloniki, Greece

SALO

Redevelopment of the Axis Aghia Sophia-Acheiropoiitos, Thessaloniki, Greece

Discipline: 

The city of Thessaloniki, Greece, held a competition to transform a heavily visited thoroughfare within the city’s center into a primarily pedestrian corridor. The site, situated within Hébrard’s original plan for the city, connects three religious monuments and de facto tourist destinations and a new subway station. In light of the present economic and social crisis in Greece, ORG’s proposal finds modesty in preserving Hébrard’s original intention while introducing a new cultural and social narrative for the city. The proposal reinforces each of the monuments by situating them within a new urban form (sunken rock garden, wheat field and flower garden) while the unifying field (plaza with vegetation and water features) creates a collective urban carpet along the project’s length.
The transformation of the monumental Agias Sofias axis into an open territory of public performance and collective reference for the city of Thessaloniki constitutes the fundamental idea of the proposal. The elementary objective is to introduce an alternative narrative of the historical trace of the city, where different moments and collective subjects can dynamically coexist in a new form of urban space. There, common symbols and elements of the traditions and practices that together shaped the city are emphasized as objects of the common past and the imperative present and future.
ORG, dektis consultant engineers ltd (Electromechanical Engineer), Maria Vorreakou (Landscape Architect), Sryros Vougias (Transportation Engineer)

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