The park of the buried houses
A new landscape scheme at the coast of Volos pays tribute to the painful memory of the earthquake and the destroyed houses that provided the new common ground of the park.
The earthquakes that struck Volos in the span of the years 1955-57 had limited victims but caused an irrecoverable blow at the city’s vitality by devastating its residential substructure. More than 60% of the city’s houses suffered severe damages and had to be demolished.
The resulting rubble discarded mainly at the sea extending thus significantly the shore of Anavros area. This new urban ground, produced by the earthquake debris, was eventually (in the 80s) designated as the major seaside park of Volos.
In the present form of the park, there is no indication of the past disaster. Nothing commemorates the remnants of thousands households that are buried under the Anavros park. However, a necessary remodeling of the park could be envisaged through this fact, establishing so a link with city’s old trauma. This proposal is testing the potential of such a possibility.
Two imaginary scenes inform the proposal and become the recurring themes in a new layout of the park:
- A complex of houses completely torn down and left as a flat residue of exposed floors paved with the local colorful cement tiles.
- The linear movement of trucks and bulldozers pushing the broken masonry of the demolished buildings into the sea.
The new park will signify a retroactive farewell gesture to the lost heritage of the city, a late mourning for the buried houses of Volos.