MYTHICAL TRAILS BETWEEN LAND AND WATER
Name: Eleni – Maria Toliopoulou
Date: July 2020
Course: Diploma Design thesis
Supervisor: Konstantinos Ioannidis
School – Department: Faculty of Engineering A.U.Th. – School of Architecture
Thesis’ blog page: https://mythical-trails.tumblr.com/
Due to its location, the city of Volos is closely related to the water element as long as it is to the mountains. The view to the south seems “vast”, while an enormous and steep “wall” rises to the north.
The mythical land of Pelion mountain is associated with several myths and mythological creatures. Hesiod refers to Pelion as forested (anc. greek «υλήεν») and Homer as “the land with leaves that shake” (anc. greek «εινοσίφυλλον»). Several mythological stories and creatures have been linked with this verdant place, as well as with the wider area of Thessaly, some of which are: the Clash of Gods and Titans, the Centaurs and the battle of the Centaurs with Lapithes.
Located in the south-eastern of Volos, the abandoned park at the area of “Pedion Areos” is able to host a multifaceted program both in terms of building interventions and the landscape and its relationship with the city. A green urban space, more than 60.000 m2, with excellent views to the south-eastern part of the mountain.
Based on mythology and memory, the re-activation of the wider area is attempted, through creating an open and widely accessible urban space in order to give another character to the area.
The park is organized through a succession of concentric elliptical penetration zones from the city to an inner recreational landscape. From a green zone perimeter the visitor is gradually lead through paths to the central area, the lake, where an exhibition space dedicated to the mythology of the area is formed. Tree planting streams complement the existing vegetation, creating a green filter for sound insulation and visual indulgence. A relatively strict front is adjacent to the road, delimits the intervention and on either side of it the walker enters the land part of the plot. The boundary of the lake now acquires an elliptical shape, which is embraced by the paths of visitors.
The artificial island of the exhibition occupies the position of the natural island with the aim of creating a special artificial environment. With the passable steps on the shell but also its internal and external paths, the building becomes an exhibit of itself, inviting the visitor to walk and experience it. It has different accessible levels, offering views and escapes throughout the plot but also to the mountain of Pelion.
In terms of construction analysis, the elliptical basin that includes the whole building is also used for sealing purposes. The indoor spaces have been analyzed in circular domes which are covered by a second shell consisting of the metal mesh and the slabs that form the desired steps.