Michael Cosmas
<< back

EUROPAN 7 Masterplan and Urban Design Competion
Thessaloniki, Greece

The project called for the master-planning of an agglomeration of mostly publicly owned plots with a total area of 22 hectares, into a mixed use residential zone. The project had to promote simple but effective low density interventions, and open-space strategies that would transform the Pylaia peri-urban area, into an active, community driven hub.

Our proposal offers a series of flexible strategies that focus on conditions and relationships rather than fixed formal results. This opposes a traditional linearly structured master plan, since it articulates the project in an easier implemented mode, but also produces a non-deterministic, non-linear development system, that can handle complex issues as it progresses.

The network of open and green spaces that registers in the area is identified as an important element in the existing urban system. It lacked in diversity, physical coherence, and metropolitan appeal, but sustained a rich neighbourhood-scale activity. The project attempts to connect to and enhance this system, through the generation of open spaces and built interventions of diverse character, program and scale. It proposes the weaving of the metropolitan vis-a-vis the local, the private vis-a-vis the public and the permanent vis-à-vis the temporary in an ambitious plan to produce a dynamic, interactive filed of urban ecology.

The proposal re-examines the relation of housing in conjunction to other uses and proposes the production and calibration of a new generic typology that works as an extension to the open space spatial vision. It displaces the direct relationship of a commercial base to a housing upper part organization of the prevailing apartment block type, typical to the Greek city, and generates a non-linear type that allows for a greater typological flexibility, as well as greater potential to connect to open space in a multitude of configurations.

The building typology facilitates the interconnection and the interactivity between plots, vs the typical reclusive arrangement. Private properties would interconnect; in fact open space that is generated through these connections (impromptu or programmed), becomes the focal point of the proposal. Able to accommodate a wide range of activities, it maintains both a local and a metro scale, serving both the individual plots and being part of the wider field of urban open spaces.

The project suggests a new logic of urban assembly, one that is dynamic, interactive and evolving. At the same time the project presents an alternative spatial paradigm for the city, where the City acquires the performative and environmental attributes inherent in a Park, and the Park acquires the intensity, density and diversity of the City.

Architects: Michael Cosmas Architecture
Architects: Michael Cosmas Architecture in collaboration with Paris Philippou, Pavlos Philippou
Project Architects: Michael Cosmas, Pavlos Philippou,  Paris Philippou