Nostos: Re-turn to the Library
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Name of the Project: ‘’ Nostos: Re-turn to the Library’’, The New Central Public Library of Thessaloniki
Author-Designer: Athanasios Mousmoulidis
Supervisors: Fani Vavili , Dimitrios Kontaxakis
Project Type: Diploma Thesis Project
Place : Thessaloniki, Greece
Date of the official presentation of the project : 24/09/2020
School of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering
Aristotle University ofThessaloniki, Greece
The word ‘’Nostos’’ was initially used by Homer in Odyssey in order to describe the sentiments that follows the hero’s journey whilst returning to his homeland, Ithaca. In recent years, our journey towards knowledge has become increasingly challenging due to the ever-increasing amounts of information we receive on a daily basis. Consequently, we fault on being able to filter it thus, turning ourselves away from it. The present Thesis project is proposing a new hybrid Library for the city of Thessaloniki which will introduce to its citizens a space where everything can take place, where people can meet, discuss, search, cooperate and start their own journey towards knowledge. It is a place where the traditional uses of a Library co-exist with digital means and technologies.
The architectural synthesis had as its starting point the proximity of the site to the sea and on the silhouette of Mount Olympus on the horizon. These characteristics formed the main concept of the new building which is designed as to establish a relationship with the site’s topography. The sea is perceived as a fluid geometry with surfaces overtaking one another and Mount Olympus is seen as the natural limit between the earth and the sky, between humans and nature, between reality and myth.
The Library expands its spatial program in two main blocks following the trapezoid-shape of the site plan. In-between them, a void is formed. This void becomes the core of the building, hosting the open plaza and the interior Agora, which played the most significant role in the ancient Greek and Roman cities, as it was considered to be the core of social and economic life. Αt ‘’Nostos’’, the Agora is transformed into a three-stories interior void, surrounded by levels of different uses, hosting the main entrance of the Library and becoming the center of the social life, the hotspot for all meetings and movements.
The need for optimal connection between the interior and the exterior of the building led to the use of thin vertical structural elements and of glass facades based on a curtain wall system. The building is designed to be perceived as a network of exterior and interior spaces coming closer to the human scale.
A metallic roof with a fluid geometry expands above the top level of the building functioning as a limit between the building and the sky, between a man-made environment and nature. Its curvilinear shape follows the footprint of Mount Olympus on the horizon and becomes a reference point between the fluid topography of the site and the Library itself.
The architectural synthesis proposes the urban redevelopment of the site in to a metropolitan Cultural Park, which will meet different uses, from sports facilities to squares, parks, the existing Music Halls and the Library. The proposal consists of the re-designing of the waterfront with docks, pools, a marina and a water plaza with floating islands in order to enhance the connection between the citizens and the sea.
Proposal’s video link: Nòstos: Re - turn to the Library | The New Central Library of Thessaloniki.GR - YouTube
Αrchitectural Proposal’s issue/ Τεύχος Αρχιτεκτονικής Μελέτης: