Injured Stones. A park at Piraeus port
The proposed park is located at the main harbor of Piraeus, next to the Eetionia Gate, the only surviving part of the west side fortifications of the ancient city. The site was also the venue of a refugee’s settlement in the 1920s and epicenter of the disastrous aerial bombings in 1944. Now the vacant lot is surrounded by residential blocks, a small unused railway station and a highway bordering the passenger port.
To design a public park in such a place is a demanding intellectual undertaking. It engages not only the obvious factors of the current condition but also the sediment of historic relics, traces and stories that saturate the place.
Attuning the new structures with the stark intensity of the archeological site became the principal architectural aspiration.
The main scheme is conceived as a fragment of ancient Piraeus’ Hippodamian street plan.
A long corridor, evocative of the ancient road leading to the gate, is trying to cope with the magnitude of surrounding elements like the ferries and the port facilities.
This elongated platform, articulated with a public square facing the two round towers of the ancient gate and with a promenade over the slope that accommodates a coffee-bar, establishes the core of the plan.
Other facilities as the cemetery-like garden, a playground and the existing incomplete open-air theatre are arrayed at the side of the main route.
The material qualities of the proposal are variations of aggregated, new and reclaimed paving elements and concrete units. They allow the melancholy of the injured stones to reverberate into the new setting.