Berlin University Residences

Berlin University Residences

1st Prize

The proposal for 'Berlin University Residences' is highly contextual, partially functional and stubbornly restrained in terms of design complexity. Most of the morphological characteristics are borrowed from the immediate surroundings, such as the width and the height of the proposed buildings. Apart from the three volumes that define the street leading to the canal, three more volumes are inserted perpendicular to the side wall, as extensions of the neighboring ones. The new buildings, almost touching on their edges, give shape to three public squares near the street, conceived as: entrances, new side walls or passages to the courtyards.  

The typical single loaded corridor is widened in order to accommodate the common services. Different uses are dispersed among these linear spaces. On the ground level, these spaces are facing the street, interconnected with sheltered pathways through the courtyards. While the apartments, on the same level, are facing the courtyards giving access to private enclosed gardens. On the upper floors, the previous layout is inverted and the common areas are more introverted, providing a visual contact among them, while the apartments have their windows on the streets.

The overall volumetric approach and the layout of the common areas determine two different types of circulation within the block: one ‘from the street to the apartment’ which is short and direct, and another one ‘from common area to common area’ which is long and indirect. This stretched sense of time is essentially the architectural proposal for the communal life in this new ‘Berlin block’.

Competition organised by Archmedium, Barcelona - Spain, June 2016

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Shrinking Athens

Shrinking Athens

Team: Thanassis Manis, Yorgos Pantazis

Berlin

In architectural culture ‘contemplating the future’ means ‘expanding’ or ‘adding more of the same’.  A notable shift from this norm occurred in 1977 when the architect Oswald Mathias Ungers proposed a reverse approach. The project ‘Berlin: A green archipelago’ proposed the demolition of some parts of west Berlin -creating a green sea- while some other parts -in the form of islands- would be preserved and celebrated as ideal mini-cities. The scenario was based on the abandoned city centers of the 70’s, the specificity of West Berlin as a walled island and the urban voids inherited from the war.

Composing by erasing

Athens is used as a case study, as an imaginable shrinking city. What would be erased from a depopulated Athens? Which districts would be preserved and why? Is the idea of archipelago applicable in the case of Athens or should we look for alternatives? What would be the future of the preserved parts?

The cemetery of modern Athens

Eleonas is the biggest non-residential entity of the city, mainly functioning as a supporting area for metropolitan Athens. The needs of the shrinking city would make Eleonas current use irrelevant. A new hill will dominate the Athenian landscape. A pile of rubble.

Ongoing research project, Athens - Greece, 2017

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Baltic Thermal Pool Park

Baltic Thermal Pool Park

Cosmos team: Thanassis Manis, Yorgos Pantazis, Ilias Pitsios

The Baltic Thermal Pool Park is conceived as a single edifice that occupies the whole length of the site (270 meters). The length of the building refers to the Seaside Park, while the perpendicular wings downsize the effect of its length, breaking down the mass to the scale of the neighborhood. The nodes of intersection are the focal points. They are conceived as violent interruptions of the linear mass by 8 voids sizing 11x11x11m. These cubic atriums repeat regularly every 33 meters, but only as variations. The variation is performed on the level of materiality and openness. Their bottom is always a water surface and their roof serves as a skylight. The pools occupy the whole width of the building thus implying their supremacy and encouraging the visitor to try each one of them. The alternative is to follow the corner passages, perceived as short ‘detours’; a movement that momentarily takes the visitor ‘outside’ of the building. Guest accommodation occupies the first and the second floor. The main corridor runs along the east side and penetrates the atriums, allowing the tenants to have an overview of the pools. Four circulation cores, allocated in the wings towards the city, allow immediate access to the ground floor. The spaces adjacent to these cores are used as meeting hubs between leisure and accommodation.

Competition organised by HMMD, Liepaja - Latvia, June 2014

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Space to Culture

Space to Culture

Cosmos team: Thanassis Manis, Yorgos Pantazis, Ilias Pitsios

Gold Honorable Mention

The competition ‘Space to Culture’ asked for the conversion of a disused industrial building to a flexible cultural centre. Following a careful examination of the existing building, four parts are identified: two floors characterized by an identical grid of columns (Field + Rooms), a double storey volume attached to it (Hall), a separate three storey volume (Block), and an L shaped volume on top (Bridge). The ground floor (Field) is conceived as a continuous space, open to the public. All uses are defined by furniture or temporary divisions. Minimum intervention implies the possibility of an empty space. The first floor (Rooms) is divided into smaller rooms, following the structural grid. The islands of workshops at the centre of the floor are surrounded by a perimetrical zone of offices. The new theatre (Hall) works as a ‘gigantic stair’ between the Field and the Rooms and performs either as the continuation of the Field (when is open to the public), or as another Room (when is hosting an event).

Competition organised by YAC, Bologna - Italy, May 2014

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Haritou Square

Haritou Square

Team: Thanassis Manis, Katerina Roussou, Elina Boukouri, Agapi Kyriakidou, Nikoleta Sideri

The '100 Hourmadies' area is washed by the sea. The two large beaches, east and west, are the most important element of the neighborhood. The majority of uses around the square are related to recreation and tourism. The multi-storey hotels and bathers who cross the area wearing their swimsuits, significantly change the perception of public space and call into question the notion of ‘urban square’. However, the layout of the palm trees and the shape of the square refer to historical examples of urban public spaces. The monumental axis leads to the historic building of the aquarium, at the edge of a small garden. It is obvious that these two characteristics are quite contradictory. On the one hand, we confront seven rows of umbrellas on the beach, but on the other, a very intense perspective formed by the tree trunks on the square. Our proposal is based precisely on this contradiction. The aim is not to eliminate the contradiction in favor of one or the other characteristic, but to seek an ideal balance. This equilibrium was explored by combining two different spatial elements with the two contradicting characteristics of the neighborhood: [x’, y’] The surface of the square is associated with the urban structure and the streets leading to the beaches, [z’] while the vertical elements, shelters and urban equipment reinforce the axis and the characteristic shape of the square.

Competition organised by the local municipality, Island of Rhodes - Greece, October 2016

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Plaza

Plaza

The installation is an attempt to compress the experience of a public space within a public square. The main components of this compression are: a piece of stone, a column and a cable with lamps. The stone, a green marble from Tinos Island, stabilizes with its weight a hovering bright triangle. Although not conceived for a specific use, parts of the installation refer to objects with a specific function: the marble refers to public seating or to a podium, and the lights refer to the typical image of outdoor lighting or the decoration of ceremonies.

Public space installation, Athens - Greece, 2015

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