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Architectural Competition Entry to design a multipurpose Community Centre in the former Papafi Stables of Toumba - Thessaloniki  / 2018

Location: Thessaloniki

Client: Municipality of Thessaloniki

Design Team: Efi Karioti, Mary Skouloudi, Architects

Assistants: Eleni Antoniadou, Fanis Georgiadis, Alex Hecht, Dimitris Kaproukranidis, Students of Architecture

Mechanical Engineering Study: Athena Sivi, Electrical Engineer

Structural Engineer: Costis Chatzopoulos REMODE


The new multipurpose Community Centre will contain the following uses: 

Kindergarden, Municipal Library

Administration Office spaces

Multifunctional spaces for volunteer associations

Exhibition space dedicated to the history of Toumba

Municipal gym

Residential building for refugee families

Open Care Center for the Elderly

Primary Health Care Center

Parking lot (2 levels, situated in the basement)

Auxiliary spaces (storage, etc) 

The multipurpose community center will serve a large number of city residents daily and has to provide carefully balanced space allocation to serve numerous functions.  Coexistence of a variety of services with different operation hours and diverse users, calls for identification, prioritarization and addressing of modes of use. Simultaneously, we aim in  downsizing the scale of the project and its careful integration with the surrounding urban environment.    

We incorporate the internal courtyard as key design element which is also the basic characteristic of the historic Municipal Stables Complex situated in the lot.


Scale in space 
The buildings' volumes incorporate voids and reciding upper floors to keep height lower than the surrounding buildings and reduce scale impact. The complex ground floor entrance elevation is uniform for all buildings to enable better circulation and bridges elevation fluctuation across the lot .  
Scale in time

The complex acts as a city miniature for the children to explore and incorporates graphic design pattern on the building elevation simulating children's drawings of a city neighborhood /or the stable buildings that will be demolished to make way for the new development. Use o color is a key design tool.   


Green areas form a percentage of the open space of the complex, namely the internal courtyardand which features green beds next to the buildings and a wide grass paver pathway crossing the courtyard. The small adjacent park and the new kinderagarden playgrounds are blending togeteher in the new lanscape design.  Green is an inherent element in buildings facades with numerous patios with plant spots. The lush green of the streams in the district of Toumba, that form their own microclimate and ecosystems, inspire us to recreate a similar "green invasion" in the urban block.  

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