The topic of my thesis is the expression of the concept of Freespace in Eptapyrgio of Thessaloniki, on the occasion of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2018.
Freespace is an idea with many interpretations because it expresses the elements of space (material and non-material) that give rise to a sense of freedom in humans. Humans are different, so the elements of space that express the idea of freedom are different for each one.
The manifesto for Freespace by Yvonne Farell and Shalley McNamara (currators of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018) identifies these features and invites people to recognize them because only with this way humans will integrate physically and mentally to architecture.
The design and study area of the exhibition is Eptapyrgio of Thessaloniki. Eptapyrgio is a place with a double and contradictory historical past because as a fortress was the ultimate Freespace in the case of a city siege and as a prison was the place where every trace of freedom was deprived. This dual identity is the key of expressing the concept of Freespace. Therefore, through this exhibition one can see what Freespace actually is and is not, by using as designing tools the monuments history and the space qualities.
The fact that Eptapyrgion is today a World Heritage Monument encourages and limits the designing process. On the one hand it is helpful because in this way free visits are possible, space observation and imagination about the events that took place there. On the other hand there are some limits because its memory and authenticity should not be distorted. The aim is, therefore, a minimum interference in the monument because this space is already being revealed.
The sites where the exhibition is to be held are the entrance of the Monument, the Visiting Hall, the Dormitory, two Outdoor Spaces, the Central Guard and the Tallest Tower, the Isolation Room and the Surroundings outside of the monument. Also, a proposed route of visiting the exhibition spaces is being formed.
The proposed sections are now the Entrance Area, the Meeting Threshold, the Co-Living Room, the space of Resurrection, the space of Peace, the Memory Room, the Room of Domination and the Isolation Room. The method of approaching each space was made by taking continuous visits, taking photos, observing them and trying to imagine the memories of each space in order to approach in a maximum point every special atmosphere.
TakinginconsiderationBiennale’smanifestoofFreespace, each new section of the exhibition expresses the ideas that are written in this. In this way visitors can understand in a better way the correlation between the ideas of manifesto and the exhibition.
In conclusion, the main goal of this thesis is to invite people to understand the meaning of Freespace and to lift their spirit through this approach.