Architectural study – proposal for Koutselio Square
Total building area:: 900,00m²
This is a project for the redevelopment of the central square in the Koutselio village outside the city of Ioannina. The main aim of this scheme was to find a way to expand this public space in order for it to meet the needs of its continuously growing community and most importantly to be reinstate it as the “pole” of the community once again.
The basic requirement that needed to be address was the shortage of space, outdoor space as well as indoor space for the community facilities. The fact that the square is located in the center of the original settlement makes its expansion impossible. The built environment around the square is dense, the roads that circle it are narrow and the pavement around it is non – existent. The only way to increase the size of the square’s outdoor area as well as the floor space of its community facilities, is to demolish the existing community building from within the square, raise the level of the square to that of the road in front of the school and create a new level under the square to accommodate the community facilities.
As a result we have an open public space inviting the visitors to experience it.
The existing square is characterised by the large platanus tree that has been in the heart of the square, as well as the heart of the community since its early days. It was important to maintain the platanus and for it to continue its vital role in the heart of the square and the community, for that reason an opening was created on the level of the new square for the tree to rise and its canopy to continue providing shade for those who are visiting the area.
The circular glass façade of the accommodation that is unfolding around the opening and the tree base at the lower level allows for natural light to flood into the community spaces. The square’s benches apart from their practical use, they are also sources of natural light since they are from sandblasted glass, while at night when they are lit from below, they become luminous floating objects.