Place: Xylokastro, Greece
Prize: 1ST PRIZE
Architect: Eirini Androutsopoulou
Land n Arch wins the first prize for the Hanging Gardens project
Land n Arch wins the first prize at the architectural competition for the conversion of the Greek town of Xylokastro main commercial axis to a pedestrian shopping street.
The design is a repetitive pattern of a single structural element and its variations and is placed along the 800m long Xylokastro waterfront.
Xylokastro town, which is located in Greece, used to be covered by a dense pine and schinus forest in the 18th century. In 1919 it became a popular summer destination and was known as “Anthoupoli”, the “Flower City”. The project’s objective is to give this very special local feature back to the town of Xylokastro.
The Hanging Gardens Project brings back the town’s character (The hanging gardens) and strengthens its commercial character (Stoa).
A – THE HANGING GARDENS
The Hanging Gardens street plays a major role at a local level. It provides a walkway (stoa) covered with plants, where one can find shaded sitting areas outside the local stores and rest areas where the roads cross.
The existing greenery is preserved and enriched. The three proposed categories of plants are climbing plants, trees and low growing shrubs. Each category’s unique elements compose Xylokastro’s landscape revival, as the plants selected are the ones native to the area, such as the arbor (climbing and ornamental), pine (high growing) and schinus (low growing).
The proposed plant canvas includes species which preserve the past landscape identity of Xylokastro. At the same time, tropical plant species are a reference to Xylokastro’s history as a popular summer destination. Lastly, the Mediterranean plants included are the ones most encountered in the coastal areas of Greece.
B – STOA
The project’s goal is to capture and enhance the street’s commercial character by making the urban environment uniform at a visual and a practical level. It augments the spatial continuity and linearity of the street as well as the intensity and character of the sea views.
The Hanging Gardens Project is an addition to the town’s residential environment but it also serves as a unifying element of the diverse components of Greek rural town’s buildings, new and old architectural styles and different facades.
As the emphasis is given to the linear dimension of the street, the character of the market is enhanced, while the archways at the street intersections allow for the sea view to capture one’s attention.