Kastraki Park

Year 2016 Location Pireaus, Greece Area 18,0000m2 Status Competition Entry Agriculturalist Consultant Popi Grammatikopoulou
Team members Yannis Kitanis, Lena Kitani, Iacovina Kodiza, Panagiotis Sarlis, Eugenia Makroglou

The proposal for the competition of the new park of “Kastraki” (tr. little fort in new Greek) is a fragmented sculptural gesture atop the post-industrial ground of Piraeus port, which transfers the memory of the historical landscape into a latent reality. The palimpsest of site we intervened is of great importance. The place we position our proposal for public sculpture was exactly where the one pole of the chain was resting in order to block the enemies coming from the sea during classical ages. Moreover, the whole plot and also the specific place was a terrain of warfare every time the Athenian city was invaded by the Spartans. During World War I, refugees from Minor Asia built informal settlements and accommodated the site until the end of World War II. Then the settlement above the antiquities was completely destroyed by British airstrikes while targeting the Nazi maritime in the port of Piraeus.

The whole park acts as an elevated balcony above the port where the visitors can contemplate for the past and observe the busy city of Piraeus. At the same time, it creates an entrance to the monument of the Heetionean Gate (i.e. the passage of the ancient Athenian Walls to the Peloponnese). The landscape proposal for the new park retrieves intense but long-faded urban characteristics of the antiquity, and re-introduces them to a public coastal terrain dedicated to both the archeological locus and the touristic port of Piraeus. Longitudinal benches drawn simply as solid rectangular volumes retain the slopes of the park and trace the new topography with elongated tiers resembling the materiality of the limestone quarries in the adjacent hillsides of Attica, clearly visible as ferries approach the port of Pireaus.