oiio architecture office shared with us their proposal for the ‘Regeneration and Reuse of the Western Historical Docks and their surroundings’ for the Municipality of the City of Heraklion where they won the 2nd prize in the national architectural competition. Facing all the demands that emerge from the restoration of the Western Arsenali the compositional process tackles to organize the articulation of a visually legible cultural hub at the point where the old city meets the sea. More images and project description after the break.
In the process of the visual orientation of the new cultural hub the city takes a step back forming an urban sack. Urban cohesion and integration of the monument is promoted through the articulation of the elements of the sack on the flows of the city. Gathering all those flows in a common point of convergence a landmark is created which concentrates and diffuses visually the flows of the city operating as spatial tool for the portrayal of the city’s function.
The interior of the urban sack is organized in three thematic spaces the cohesion of which is promoted through the mixing of the elements of the contemporary role of the monument with the remnants of the old. The proposition promotes the rising of the Arsenali as a fully functional part of the city through its collaboration with the square. Towards that collaboration as main aim of the composition becomes the treatment of the square as a neutral canvas where the monument will be able to play it’s role without visual distractions.
The collaboration of the square and the Arsenali produces an exhibition space which does not take the form of a single foreign body inside the monument. Instead it communicates spatially with the monument’s typology, giving, at the same time, emphasis on the sprawl of the exhibition on the entire surface of the square. The sprawl of the exhibition is based on the installation of wooden surfaces which carry the same size and form with the Arsenali’s internal openings. Designed to revolve around their own axis the surfaces constitute, in realty, doors, which are placed under the arches of the Arsenali, distributing the flows of the visitors.
The wooden castle-doors under the arches of the Arsenali constitute the only modern piece of equipment inside the monument. As objects and not parts of a construction the wooden doors organize discreetly the hierarchy of the monument’s interior, as well as the rest of the exhibition space. The wooden doors constitute the sitting area as well the light source of the exhibition area, but they also constitute the vocabulary through which the monument and the square operate as a whole and cohesive exhibition space.
The wooden doors are dispersed on the square through the installation of sockets in which they interlock. The sockets provide the electricity needed for the display as well the equipment needed for the movement of the door around it’s axis. The dispersal of the sockets on the entire surface of the square produces a dynamic exhibition space whose form and hierarchy is each time adjusted to the character and needs of the exhibit.
Architects: oiio architecture office Location: Heraklion, Greece Team: Ioannis Oikonomou, Grigorios Vegliris, Stiv Dimitriou