An urban collage in the city of Volos
Design Studio Project
University of Thessaly
House-mix is a housing project in the city center of Volos, a medium sized city in Greece. Volos is an example of the typical Greek urban structure consisted mainly by the peculiar greek modernistic apartment building. Inside this dense scheme of habitation, all the apartments are part of a homogeneous urban mass with no character or limits between them to differentiate. Unlike the typical apartment buildings in the city center of Volos, House-mix explores how to create a diverse housing where every apartment is different from each other.
Furthermore House-Mix tries to redefine and find alternatives on how the Greek city evolves, which until now is based on the repetition of the dominant typology of the “polykatoikia” building. Moreover, it is a vital part of the project to insert public functions and activities, since it is located in a densely populated area of the city. Consequently, the whole building has to serve as a topic landmark and give to the whole neighborhood its missing identity.
The building is organized in three zones. The ground one that has public activities, the upper one where the housing is and the transitional zone between which is a semi-public square. These zones are not completely horizontal but they are developed in a tiered logic. On the south side of the plot the public square approaches the commercial street of the neighborhood in order to invite people on it as it is more visible. At the same time more apartments are concentrated there
taking advantage of the south orientation. Meanwhile on the north side apartments are found only at the last two floors which also means that they get an unobstructed view to the square lying above the plot. The apartments are organized around a central courtyard and the circulation is taking place via external corridors circling the courtyard at each level.
Each apartment has a unique shape, thus it is designed individually. Some of them have two storeys, while all of them have at least some tiered parts offering a variety of space quality. As long as the external cladding of the apartments is concerned, the owner is able to choose from a range of 6 different materials and colors. These materials are all different kinds of industrial metal sheets in reference to the lost industrial history of the city of Volos, as the building has a symbolic character for the area.