Thessaloniki Historic Urban Area
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Thessaloniki Historic Urban Area

“Redesign & Upgrade of D. Gounari, Kallari & Mitropoleos Streets and Fanarioton Square – Accentuation of D. Gounari Historic Axis of Thessaloniki’s Roman Era – Restoration and accentuation of the archaeological findings of the Ancient Hippodrome of Thessaloniki”


The project aims to upgrade the public space in this particular area of the city’s center and highlight the historic axis of Roman Thessaloniki. It is materialized through a donation of Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Municipality of Thessaloniki.


The study* focused on:

  • Reclaiming the public space of this part of the city’s historic center through redesigning and transforming the fragmented urban area, now congested with parking spaces, into a sustainable, citizen-friendly urban environment.
  • Promoting the monumental axis of D. Gounari Street, which connects the Galerian complex, the Rotunda, and the Tower of Trigonioum with the city’s waterfront.
  • Redeveloping and upgrading Fanarioton Square, the surrounding streets, and the currently neglected archaeological site around the church of Nea Panagia.
  • The conservation, restoration, and accentuation of the archaeological findings of the Ancient Hippodrome of Thessaloniki.
  • Securing sustainable urban mobility in the area, through the creation of moderate circulation streets with parking spots exclusively for the disabled and the improvement of pedestrian, disabled and bicycle circulation.
  • An overall increase of the area’s green spaces (existing: 650m2, proposed: 1,460m2), which enables natural lighting, shading and ventilation, and also the formation of water elements in order to enhance local microclimate.
  • Enrichment of the area with modern urban equipment.

Urban space is formed through continuous, flowing motions, narrowing paths and routes, wider rest areas with the respective urban equipment and large areas of green, aiming at unifying, enriching and highlighting urban space. Design manipulations remain austere and maintain a uniform character and simplicity of expression.


The axis is paved with off-white, grey, and crimson (in the historic paths only) granite cubes, colored asphalt, white “brushed” marble from Kavala, visible reinforced concrete, and stainless steel.


*          The study was based on a research paper drafted by the Environmental Design Studio, under the supervision of Prof. N. Kalogirou, a study by the Department of City Planning of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and the “Preliminary Study of reconfiguration of the N. Panagia church surrounding area, and the archaeological findings of the Ancient Hippodrome of Thessaloniki” by the General Directorate of Antiquities of Thessaloniki.


Municipality of Thessaloniki


D. Gounari, Kallari & Mitropoleos Streets and Fanarioton Square , Thessaloniki





Photo Credits

Kimberley Powell

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