ecological histories | Thessaloniki Greece

The site of Eptapirgio has a special identity and atmosphere, abundant natural beauty and astonishing views. The site itself forms the inspiration for the project, its genius loci is wished to be maintained. Monument, landscape and memory are strongly attached to this place. The intervention has a strong ecological –bioclimatic aspect and uses few elements to organize the place. The concept derives from the defensive character of the walls. It is seen as a new layer of filtering from the urban tissue to the interior enclosed historical landscape that is the protagonist.

Main compositional tools of the project are: (i) movements, flows and rest areas in relationship with the existing topography, the castle walls, the views and the urban fabric (ii) plantation as a structural element (iii) the various sites’ identities

Below the different elements of the project are being mentioned: the civic promenade, the square at the main entrance, the network of paths that by crossing explain the site, the meadows, the amphitheaters A, B, C that are organically interwoven in the landscape, the perimetric green filter of evergreen and deciduous trees, the linear park at the west, the minimal cor-ten fence, the stabilized soil in the paths.

The new morphological terms for the reformation of the existing houses include minimal forms, with erkers, and stone that will be adapted to the site’s minimal atmosphere.

Plantation design is adapted to the dominant character of the monumental existing landscape. The new natural landscape highlights the existing meadows which are enhanced partially by dry species and are seen as free fields for natural regeneration. Plantation focuses to the creation of a Mediterranean landscape with local species that demand little irrigation, that emphasize the site’s austerity and symbolism. On the boundaries of the streets a filter of mostly medium/low height evergreen trees is created in order to contribute to sound insulation and wind protection.

The lighting strategy is based on enhancing the archaeological ruins and making them the central element of the landscaping. To achieve this all the archaeological elements will be uniformly lit with the use of power-LED projectors. On the contrary, the lighting of the circulation routes is subdued, only towards the ground. Relatively more light is concentrated on the entry points/piazzas. Additionally, selective trees are highlighted as well as the perimeter vegetation. All fittings to be equipped with anti-glare accessories to reduce glare and light pollution and high efficiency light sources.

ecological histories | Thessaloniki Greece

COMPETITION |  Landscaping the Surrounding Space of the Monumental Area of Eptapyrgio, Thessaloniki

PRIZE | 1st honorable mention / recognition

LOCATION | Thessaloniki, Greece

CLIENT | Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change. 


Architecture |
Panagiota Karamanea
Architect -NTUA / Landscape Architect – MLA Landscape Arquitect  ETSAB/UPC
Helena Kouri, Architect –NTUA
Athanasios Polyzoidis
Architect -NTUA / Landscape Architect – MLA Landscape Arquitect  ETSAB/UPC

Landscape Architecture |
Panagiota Karamanea,
Architect -NTUA / Landscape Architect – MLA Landscape Arquitect  ETSAB/UPC

Athanasios Polyzoidis
Architect -NTUA / Landscape Architect – MLA Landscape Arquitect  ETSAB/UPC
Electrical engineering |
Vasilios Kolovos – Electrical Engineer

Lighting Design: Eric David – Architectural Lighting Design Expert


Montages : Xenia Papatriantafyllou – Architect


CREDITS IMAGES AND TEXTS |     Panagiota Karamanea – Athanasios Polyzoidis – Helena Kouri – Xenia Papatriantafyllou

About Damian Holmes 3339 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at

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