THE MAGICAL STAIRCASE & THE MASK
Status: Architectural Competition / HONOURABLE MENTION / Municipality of Thessaloniki
Program: Municipal Kindergarten & Social Services building
Area: 700 sq.m.
Location: Thessaloniki, Greece
Architect: Leonidas Papalampropoulos, Georgia Syriopoulou
Structural engineer: Anastasios-Panagiotis Markopoulos
Mechanical engineer: Maria Mageirou
Geologist Engineer: Dimitris Argyriou
The competition brief poses a challenging architectural puzzle: the conciliation of the restrictions of the urban context and the tight plot, the extensive but vital
for the area functional requirements and the resulting co-existence of the different functions of a kidengarden, a municipal library and communal services for
the elderly within such a restrained space.
The proposal adopts the design methodology of Adolf Loos according to which the internal structure (INTERIORITY) of a building complex and
it’s envelope (EXTERIORITY) are two distinct narrative entities: the envelope’s function as a “MASK” allows for the emergence of the complex and
multilayered processes of the internal organism.
INTERIORITY | the typology of the “magical” staircase
The project exploits the typology of the double staircase which comprises of two opposing staircases placed crosswise. This “magical stair”, as developed by Leonardo Da Vinci in the Renaissance, allows for the resolution of the vertical circulation of the distinct functions (kidengarden and communal services) and theorganization of the plan by occupying the minimum footprint.
Kindergarten | Entrance
Kindergarten | Auxiliary spaces
Social services | Daycare for the elderly
Social services | Library
Kindergarten | Infant care
Social services| Entrance
(Daycare for the elderly & Municipal Library)
EXTERIORITY | the function of the mask
The “magical”sign of the staircase emerges from the concealment of its mechanism through the function of the mask in the form of a metal lattice that dresses the front and rear façade of the building. The mask forms a garment which can construct complex narrative characters (Hedjuk), can reinstate the continuity between the differentiation of the private and the homogeneity of the city (Loos) and create the base for a dialogue between the private and the public sphere (Jung).