IOANNINA CENTRE FOR TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFT
The Ioannina Centre for Traditional Handicraft is located in an area currently under development lying outside the perimeter of the old town, near the lake, traversed by Makariou Avenue. Ghrambalas Street directly connects the urban area with the centres new facilities and determines their orientation (buildings are constructed so as to face the lake).
From the two sections described in the original proposal, only one was completed – the northern one, closer to the lake – with a few minor changes. This section includes silversmith, goldsmith and metallurgy workshops, a small museum, administrative offices, the EOMMEX (Hellenic Organization of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises and Handicraft S. A.) shop, a multi-use space, the restaurant and auxiliary facilities.
The proposals basic choices consisted in the following:
- A cohesive urban-planning character inscribed with the memory of the city block (urbanity).
- A condition of interpenetration established between the building complex and the surrounding urban environment, by means of open and semi-open-air spaces and of enabling an organic relationship to form between the complex and the lake.
- A plan for turning Ghrambalas Street into a pedestrian walk in the future and of expanding it by means of a footbridge on the northern part of the complex so as to form a main axis connecting the Centre to the city and the lake.
- Construction of two walls-buildings on either side of Makariou Avenue, serving to protect visually and to sound-proof open spaces inside the complex, so that activities in the complexs various units of space, both closed and open, may be better served.
- A search for a repeated structural unit, for a basic module that would define the complexs scale and impart to it a sense of consistency. Furthermore, a repetition of identical elements both simplifies and speeds up the process of construction, while ensuring adaptability to potential future expansion or to new demands raised by the project.
- An arrangement of units based on the concept of open habitable space, so that the complexs overall style might allude to the marketplaces and bazaars of the East without requiring any elaborate or expensive solutions, opening its residents creative imagination to a host of possibilities. Units of space develop around an equal number of squares whose contours are delineated by arcades – each of the squares bearing a different character.
- An arrangement of circulation that establishes a multileveled relationship between visitors of the Centre for Traditional Handicraft and the people who create and market the products of their craft.
- A use of simple durable materials that will age naturally: pigmented concrete blocks of special specifications to create surfaces that reference traditional stone constructions; raw concrete; iron casings; carefully arranged simple mosaic floors.
A66: SA, DA
Kalogerakou, E. Koumarianou, A. Kounalaki, O. Stefanopoulou-Platanioti