The design of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for the construction of a deck on the old beach is progressing, with the aim of expanding the urban public space towards the sea side, in order to give “breath” to the thousands of residents and tourists who visit the coastal front every day. The architectural design competition launched by the Municipality of Thessaloniki for the decking that will extend the shore of the old beach was completed with the submission of fifteen proposals.

The Economic Committee of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, which met under the chairmanship of the Deputy Mayor of Technical Works and Sustainable Mobility, Ephraim Kyrizidis, ratified the decision of the competition jury, which evaluated the proposals submitted and decided to award three prizes and three equal acquisitions.

The Mayor of Thessaloniki

The old beach is taking on a new form. In the most beloved part of the city, where hundreds of people pass by every day, from the port to the White Tower, we are coming to create a balcony on the sea,” said the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas, in a statement.

One of the most beautiful parts of the city is being renewed and made more friendly for residents and visitors. With the new deck we are expanding the public space, embracing the sea, solving many functional issues and creating a new unique experience,” Mr. Zervas stressed: “Together with the redevelopment of the Aristotelous axis and a series of other interventions in the city centre, Thessaloniki is finally getting the image it deserves. We are committed. We are putting it into practice. Thessaloniki is changing.

The Deputy Mayor of Technical Works and Sustainable Mobility

Another important project is on track. We committed ourselves to the architectural competition for the deck and we have indeed put our commitment into practice with speed and results. The extension of the coastal quay is absolutely necessary, since its current small width cannot meet the needs of the thousands of Thessaloniki residents and visitors who use it on a daily basis. From the White Tower to the first pier of the PPA, we are expanding the urban public space towards the sea in a functional and aesthetically and structurally sound way and we are creating an ‘outpost’ of social contact and recreation“, said Deputy Mayor of Technical Works and Sustainable Mobility Ephraim Kyrizidis.

The first prize

The first prize was awarded to the proposal signed by architect-engineer Georgios Dimopoulos and civil engineer VasilikiPanagiotopoulou.

The designers propose two spatial zones running parallel along the entire seafront of the old beach. The zone of the extension and the zone of the existing pier pavement are distinct, so with their different qualitative characteristics, they offer different experiences and feelings to their users.

The deck of the extension is placed at a level lower than that of the existing pier. At points where the deck intersects with major axes, such as Aristotelous Square and Agia Sophia Street, indentations are formed.

At the same time, spatial compositions – units of different levels – are formed. The proposed lower-level configurations gently and discreetly separate the pedestrian movement-flow area from the area of standing, meeting and social contact.

The small pier-dock of the late 19th century opposite Liberty Square will be given an embossing to highlight its particular morphological contours and reinforce the stigma of historical memory.

The second prize

The second prize-winning proposal was signed by the architectural engineers Ioannis Vlachos and ApostolosPanos, the civil engineer ParaschosDaskaloudis and the mechanical engineer Konstantinos Sarropoulos.

The proposal includes the creation of a widened water “joint” between the new deck and the old pier. The new decking is planned to be set back four metres from the existing shelter, thus allowing all its special historic features to be preserved intact.

The designers also envisage interconnections between the two decks, multifunctional rest stations and the creation of four index points, i.e. focal points that will provide information on monument sites and elements of the city’s historical route.

The third prize

The qualitative upgrading of the old beach and the creation of a new zone, which – apart from the functional extension and widening of the existing promenade – will host rest areas, resting places, viewing points and platforms as well as a platform for cultural activities, is the main objective of the designers of the proposal that won the third prize. The proposal was signed by the architectural engineers DimitriosStefanakis and Athanasios Mousmoulidis and the civil engineer DimitriosSkordas.

The design proposal is developed in three levels. The first consists of the extension of the existing beach at the same level, while the second level is the additional extension at a lower level, in order to create two parallel linear extensions. In this way the extension will function both as a walking and sports zone and as a staging, recreation and viewing zone. The third level includes the viewing platforms.

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