Architect: Maria Sfyraki
Collaborator: Athina Fousteri, Architect
Design Team: Architect: Athina Fousteri
Students of architecture: Aristeidis Misiaris, Pinelopi Pappa
Model Making: Students of architecture:
Aristeidis Misiaris, Ira Desipri
3d Visualization: Apostolis Kassios
Consultant Landscape Architect: Georgios Mathioudakis
ART LAND: 4+1 SCENES
Architectural Competition for “The Gentrification and Re-use of the former lignite mines of Ptolemaida in the Western Macedonian region”, 3rd Prize
ART LAND: 4+1 SCENES
The proposed project entitled “ART LAND: 4 + 1 SCENES” uses the science of Landscape Design as a means of consciousness of the projects land, its soil, its history, its wounds but also its possibilities. The procedure of the Restoration – Gentrification and Re-Use of the topos of the former lignite mines, is treated as an ongoing project that on one hand cannot exist without the innermost knowledge of its “lifetime”, and on the other hand shape its maturation and reformation through the footsteps and the hands of its users; the people.
The power of “narration” is transformed into a design tool. The hieroglyphics of the lands use during its history are too deep incised to miss; the artificial topography of the excavation material belt system, the monumental funnels of the power station, the αlien morphology of the open-cast mines resembling the gates of the underworld, the construction system of the belt conveyor complex. Those traces, as natural products, are been re-used in the proposal as Open Museums, as Architectural Sceneries, as Environmental Sculptures, as Strategies of Sustainability, as Monuments of Silent composed of materials and forms driven from the memory of the industrial culture of the terra.
The design is based on two basic strategic interventions: The creation of the SEED PARK, placed close to the main circulation network of the area and the existing villages.
The park is composed by three zones of plantation: The Protected Zone with dense high-rise trees like beech, oak, pine etc. The Zone of the Blossomy Pathway with medium height planting with evergreen trees. The Cultivation Zone with aptly selected fruit trees. All the above are generated through specific water ponds connected with the river that is crossing the plot and acting as open theatre, as wetland, as sport facility and an open centre for educational programs.
The selective placement and creation of four  structures of Environmental Sculptures; The Wetland; The Tunnel; The Chimney of Knowledge; The Belt Conveyor. The Sculptures are strategically scattered into the existing dense acacia forest. Every Scene is hidden and the visitor must take a root of discovery through narrow and long pathways with high concrete or metal walls thus creating a gentle yet dramatic incision on the forest. The 4 Scenes acting as the collective memory of the industrial culture of the terra.
How can you “draw a line” in a landscape with such a history like an open trauma? What is the role of Architecture? Certainly it’s not that of imposing the “suitable” architectural proposal or acting as a closed system. The role of our proposal is that of generating traces like footsteps. The Seed Park but foremost the 4 SCENES are seen as moments able to form experiences through the memories, the actions and reactions of their guests. We believe that in a terra of such a heavily industrialized landscape, especially with regard the loss of historical continuity, it’s necessary that design interventions are generated in parallel with art and ecology, having as their main goal the interconnections between people and the landscape.