February 08 2013

An Architectural Challenge: White Tower Square in Thessaloniki, Greece

White Tower Square , Thessaloniki, Greece

When one thinks of Thessaloniki, Greece, often the first thing that comes in mind is the White Tower, a monument that was  built around 1450 and today has become the city’s landmark. This is why the regeneration of the White Tower’s square is considered as one of the most important projects that the city can realize.

The project of the New White Tower’s Square was undertaken by the architects K. Tsigarida, A. Skouvaklis, N. Kalogirou (1996-1997) and by the architecture firm Katerina Tsigarida Architects (2003-2008).

The fundamental concept of the proposal was to create a place that :

  • Respects and highlights the White Tower monument;
  • Has a long-lasting effect in the city;
  • Has a strictly planned geometry;
  • And mixes ancient with modern design.
  • White Tower Square, Thessaloniki, Greece

    White Tower’s Square is essentially a trapezoid-shaped space that opens toward the sea. The square is surrounded by green plots, and different zones of sitting areas. One of the problems that the architects had to face was the level height differences of the ground. However, this problem eventually became a benefit, as it helped to create some more isolated and quieter sub-areas of the square. The most distinctive element of the project is the series of pillars of limestone that are on the west side of the square. At night, with the help of lighting that was installed with great care, the pillars look like beautiful sculptures.

    The trapezoid square -White Tower, Thessaloniki, GreeceToday, the opinions about White Tower’s Square are conflicting. Personally, I feel that the project is very successful. Every time I walk by, I see people sitting and enjoying the sunset, or meeting with their friends. After all, what the architect K. Tsigarida wanted was to “create a place that provides a feeling of absolute harmony. That makes you feel that you don’t want to leave. So, if this is not a success… then what is it?

    Is there a better way to highlight a monument? Are there examples of this in your city?

    Credits: Images by Dafni Dimitriadi. Data linked to sources.

    Dafni Dimitriadi

    Dafni Dimitriadi is a student of Architecture at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Her numerous experiences in participating in architectural competitions have helped her understand the importance of research and design. She is interested in building and urban design restoration and aims to continue her studies in order to gain more knowledge related to these fields. She is an active volunteer and has participated in many interesting projects, including Open House Thessaloniki. She currently lives in Thessaloniki and through her blogs aims to explore developments associated with architecture and urban design.

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    This entry was posted on Friday, February 8th, 2013 at 9:58 am and is filed under Architecture, Environment, Environmental Design, History/Preservation, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Urban Development/Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


    2 Responses to “An Architectural Challenge: White Tower Square in Thessaloniki, Greece”

    1. Mitsos Says:

      Nice work with the pictures Mrs Dimitriadi.

    2. Dafni Dimitriadi Says:

      It is a pleasure to hear that from you ! Thank you !

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