Nea Smirni Public Square
Architects: Maria Kokkinou – Andreas Kourkoulas, Antonia Panou
Project Manager: Aggeliki Zografaki
Associates: Artemi Halari, Giorgos Iliadis, Christiana Karagiorgi
Electrical – Mechanical Engineer: P. & H. Argyros
Landscape Architects: Helli Pagkalou & Associates
Photographer: Tassos Vrettos
The transformation of a closed and unhospitable space to an open and hospitable garden in Nea Smyrni, Athens, has opened it’s gates.
An oasis of water, greenery, relaxation and fun becomes a pole d’attraction for the people of this municipality.
The design strategy was focused on mainting and utilizing the tall greenery, providing shadow and a comfortable temperature, while also enriching it with the addition of species of the greek and mediteranean flora, aimed at enhancing biodiversity and chromatic diversity according to each season.
An area of 7.300 sqm is mostly covered by grass, encouraging the relaxed circulation by the public.
A water stream crosses the space diagonally, defining the main circulatory axis in the heart of the garden.
At the conclusion of this stream, a clearing is formed, with water jets of a bifold importance/purpose: a space for children to play in, as well as a symbol for the new entrance to the municipality of Nea Smyrni.
The slope of the site led to a bi-level conformation/configuration, the one of the water jets and the one of the greeney, which are connected by a stair, which serves as the initial point of the main path.
The use of rusted metal symbolized the corrosive effect of time on the collective memory of historic events.
The first responses of visitors, familiarizing with the space and making it part of the every-day lives are encouraging, and allow us to believe that this project will trully upgrade the locals’ lives.