The main concern of this study was the inclusion in the urban tissue of the city center of Thessaloniki, about a multi-storey building in a modest and discreet way in terms of the composition of the volumes and the elements of its facades.
An integral element of the study was the utilization of the archaeological excavation at the basement level of the plot, where antiquities were found that testify to the continuous use of this area from the early Christian period to the interwar years. The most important find is the sea wall of Thessaloniki, which runs along the plot and is in very good condition, which should be preserved and even be visited. The rest of the finds dating from the 4th to the 14th century AD. They remained intact in order to be protected by the building, visible and accessible from the basement.
The ideal solid resulting from the combination of the small width of the sidewalk with the permitted height and building factor of the plot limits the building to a very specific geometric form.
A synthetic attempt was made to scale the volume of the building in such a way as to preserve the memory of the micro-scale of the area and to subtly integrate the building into the historical center of Thessaloniki.
For the morphology of the building, the way of its foundation and its static solution play a very important role, which presented by a particular difficulty after the archaeological excavation.
In order to ensure the safe transfer of the foundation loads underground, the use of "groups of piles" under each structural element was chosen as the only solution.
In this way, the whole image of the sea front remained unchanged, because their crowning (headbands) is at the level of the floor of the salvage excavation.
Then, at the ground floor level we tried to give the feeling that the building is floating above the existing archeological excavation, creating a large semi-outdoor space on a ‘pilotis’. Most of the ground floor is covered by glass passable surfaces that provide a direct view of the archaeological excavation. This also contributes to the creation of a lighter construction on top of the archaeological findings.
The architectural composition of the above floors is based on the same logic, where the large openings continue and the functional and aesthetic importance of outdoor and semi-outdoor spaces is emphasized.
An important role in the completion of the composition is the creation of a central volume that was covered with techno-granite in the form of porolith and creates the feeling of a single bay window with references to the traditional architecture that befits the historical center of Thessaloniki.
The building consists of eight floors and is intended for a 5* hotel unit that includes 27 rooms and junior suites as well as common areas on the ground floor level.
On the roof there is the end of the staircase and a pergola is created for the use of the space by the occupants of the unit.
We believe that the building, with its form, harmonizes with the environment of the area while it constitutes a complete, simple and timeless architectural proposal that ensures direct communication with the ancient excavation.