Casanova+Hernandez architects | U025_Piraeus Cultural Coast Master Plan


U025_Piraeus Cultural Coast Master Plan

Piraeus, Greece

The proposal for the regeneration of the Piraeus Port Authority Coastal Zone seeks to characterize the cultural coast with a specific and unique contemporary identity, integrating the port character of the place and putting special attention in the smooth articulation between the different scales and aspects involved in the project: the city, the master plan, the landscape design, the open spaces around the museum and the design of the interior of the building.

Master plan

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The Master Plan creates a clear and unique identity for the place by linking physically and visually the existing situation (city, buildings, harbour structures and docks) to the new landscape thanks to a new fluid and multi-layered circulations network.

Existing buildings and structures

There is a valuable group of existing buildings and harbour structures such as cranes, pylons and other small elements in the area, which should not only be protected due to its historical value, but that should also become the focus of attention of the new design generating a network of large, medium and small harbour landmarks in order to preserve the identity of the place.

Circulation network

The circulation network is structured following a series of main circulation axes, secondary paths and a continuous waterfront promenade.

The main paths on one hand connect physically and visually the different existing buildings among them, and on the other hand, create a series of visual relations between the important locations of the site, the seafront and the major urban landmarks located around the site.

The whole waterfront of the study area has been designed as a wide and uninterrupted promenade with direct visual contact with the sea that will become an important part of the public space that connects most of the important places of the area.

The positioning of the main paths of the master plan along the main visual axis generates an irregular network of paths that links directly all the accesses to the site (the entrance to the underwater tunnel to Leontos’ Coast, the pedestrian bridges over Kekropos Avenue, the monorail stations and public parking) to the main public buildings and places such as the Museum of Underwater Antiquities, Aquarium, the dry docks or the Monument of the Unknown Sailor.

The main axis are designed orientated towards the important landmarks in the near context such as the Churches of Agia Triada, Agios Nikolaos and Zoodochos Pigi, the tower of the Triton hotel or the cruise ships close to the passenger terminal. The connection between the main pedestrian circulation axis and the important places and landmarks of the surroundings guarantees the constant good orientation of the visitor within the area helping him to find the way to every important place in it.

A central boulevard that connects the underwater tunnel to Leontos’ Coast at the south of the area with the public parking at the north, is not only in charge of guiding the visitors to the main public buildings, but also of articulating most of the other circulations by providing connections to the other main axes of the site.

A secondary network of smaller paths that connects the main ones, gives the visitor the opportunity of discovering many other smaller scale special places and facilities located in the area. All this together, creates a fluid and varied network of circulations, milestone of a rich experience in the future Cultural Coast.

Archipelago of landscaped islands

The “Archipelago of Landscaped Islands” inspired by the Greek Sea consists of 155 small landscaped areas surrounded by the network of circulations. The islands have different sizes, different materialization and contain space for different kind of open-air activities, facilities and vegetal species.

The islands are classified into five categories: square-islands, water-islands, activity-islands, garden-islands and pavilion-islands. The diversity of size, function and materialization of the islands provides a rich diversity of open spaces characterized by a distinct identity, where very different activities can be developed by all kind of visitors such as tourists, citizens and neighbours and by people of all ages: old people, young people and children. The area will be identified as a main and iconic public space for the city with diverse spaces for large scale public events such as concerts, performances and exhibitions combined with small areas for spontaneous meetings such as playgrounds, shopping areas, cafés, restaurants and sport areas.

Landscape design principles

Landscape with iconic identity

The urban architectural landscape, designed as an archipelago of islands, is a design that provides a specific identity to the place and characterizes the site as a new landmark for the city and as the visible icon of the Cultural Costa of the Port of Piraeus.

Underlining the history of the place

The Archipelago of Islands is a flexible layout that underlines the history of the place by integrating in the design the existing constructions, structures, machines and objects combined with new elements, using a rich palette of materials and colours that remind us the memories of the port.

Varied and balanced

The different character and functions of the islands provide a catalogue of different landscape elements that can be combined to create a varied and balanced archipelago of meeting points for the citizens, with areas to relax, to walk and to develop different activities for all kind of public of different ages.

Iconic landscape as attractor of quality tourism

The Archipelago of Islands is an attractive landscape clearly visible from the cruise ships that encourages the visitors to explore the area promoting quality tourism for the recreative and cultural program of the Cultural Coast.

Flexible design suitable to be developed in phases

The fragmented morphology of the landscape design “Archipelago of Islands” makes the implementation of the project in two or even more phases easier, preserving the conceptual and functional coherence of the design in every phase. The fragmentation of the program into independent islands offers the possibility of programming specifically only the needed functions in every phase, providing flexibility for the modification of the functions in the last phases when the whole area will be in operation and the number of visitors will increase.

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Piraeus Port Authority and Ministry of Culture and Tourism
Public park, Cultural Buildings, Leisure Facilities, Landscape
10,8 Ha