Urban Design on the Move

ISBN 978-3-98612-100-6

ISBN 978-3-98612-100-6

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Five Stories About<br />

Implementing a<br />

Winning<br />

Europan Project<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Move</strong><br />

Socrates Stratis

© 2024 by jovis Verlag<br />

An imprint of Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Bost<strong>on</strong><br />

Texts by kind permissi<strong>on</strong> of <strong>the</strong> authors.<br />

Pictures by kind permissi<strong>on</strong> of <strong>the</strong> photographers/holders of <strong>the</strong> picture rights.<br />

All rights reserved.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> support of Europan Europe, Paris.<br />

Author: Socrates Stratis, Ph.D. Architect, <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>ist, Professor, Department of Architecture,<br />

University of Cyprus, <strong>on</strong>e of <strong>the</strong> main AA&U founders.<br />

Graphic <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g>: AA&U for Architecture, Art and <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>ism, LUCY Laboratory of <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>ism<br />

University of Cyprus: Mary Mavrohanna, Socrates Stratis.<br />

Editing of Drawings: AA&U for Architecture, Art and <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>ism: Chrysan<strong>the</strong> C<strong>on</strong>stantinou,<br />

Despina Kouppa, Eleni Andreou, Maria Prokopiou, Mary Mavrohanna, Revekka Evangelou,<br />

Savvas Anastasiou.<br />

Copy Editing: Charis Nika.<br />

Proofreading: Charis Nika, Bianca Murphy.<br />

Printed in <strong>the</strong> European Uni<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Bibliographic informati<strong>on</strong> published by <strong>the</strong> Deutsche Nati<strong>on</strong>albiblio<strong>the</strong>k<br />

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detailed bibliographic data are available <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de<br />

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ISBN 978-3-98612-100-6 (softcover)<br />

ISBN 978-3-98612-101-3 (e-book)

I devote <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Move</strong> to all who c<strong>on</strong>tributed to<br />

this l<strong>on</strong>g journey in many and utterly different ways:<br />

To my friends and colleagues in <strong>the</strong> Europan network,<br />

<strong>the</strong> design team members in Nicosia, especially Riccardo<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>o. To <strong>the</strong> team’s collaborators in A<strong>the</strong>ns, especially<br />

Christos Panousakis. To my friends in Herakli<strong>on</strong>, especially<br />

Nicos Skoutelis and Flavio Zan<strong>on</strong>. Finally, I devote this book<br />

to my collaborators, especially George Fournarakis, George<br />

Tavernarakis and Kalia Nikolidaki.<br />

I also thank IASPIS Stockholm and Magnus Eriks<strong>on</strong>. My<br />

Architect Curatorial Residency in October 2020 helped me<br />

c<strong>on</strong>tinue this journey of <strong>the</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Move</strong>.<br />

A huge thank you to all!

C<strong>on</strong>tents<br />

page<br />

10–17 Forewords<br />

12–13 Foreword by Didier Rebois<br />

14–17 Foreword by Albena Yaneva<br />

20–31 A. Introducti<strong>on</strong> Capturing <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Move</strong> for <strong>the</strong> Open City<br />

32–51 B. About a Piecemeal <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Strategy: Operating in <strong>the</strong> Space<br />

Between <strong>the</strong> City and <strong>the</strong> Sea<br />

36–37 B1. An Interview about <strong>the</strong> “Scenario for <strong>the</strong><br />

Space Between <strong>the</strong> City and <strong>the</strong> Sea”<br />

38–39 B2. Europan Europe Interviews with <strong>the</strong><br />

Mayor of Herakli<strong>on</strong><br />

52–215 C. Five Stories about <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

C<strong>on</strong>troversies: Hercules is Strolling<br />

Al<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Herakli<strong>on</strong> Old City<br />

Waterfr<strong>on</strong>t<br />

60–87 C1. The Historic Walls, <strong>the</strong> Safety Building<br />

Code, and <strong>the</strong> Coastal Cantilevered Corridor<br />

88–111 C2. The Disputed Territory, <strong>the</strong> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> Ramp,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Roof of <strong>the</strong> Municipal Baths<br />

112–139 C3. The Muscled Minotaur Holding a<br />

Footbridge, <strong>the</strong> Box-Like Metal Truss<br />

Corridor, and <strong>the</strong> 250-Metre-L<strong>on</strong>g Ramp<br />

140–171 C4. The <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> Beach, <strong>the</strong> Revealed City<br />

Walls, and <strong>the</strong> Enemy Who Comes from <strong>the</strong><br />

Sea<br />

172–215 C5. The Balc<strong>on</strong>y Overlooking <strong>the</strong> Sea, <strong>the</strong><br />

Dinosaur Loggia, and <strong>the</strong> Tail of a European<br />

Programme<br />

216–229 D. Hercules’ Letters: To New<br />

Europan <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> Actors<br />

218–221 D1. Letter to a Mayor Whose City Will<br />

Implement a Winning Europan <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Project<br />

222–229 D2. Letter to a Young <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Team Who Just W<strong>on</strong> a Europan Prize<br />

230–277 E. Archive of <strong>the</strong> Process:<br />

Transforming <strong>the</strong> Europan 4<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Strategy Ideas into <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Practices<br />

234–243 E1. Europan 4 Competiti<strong>on</strong> Material<br />

245–265 E2. The Project’s Public Life<br />

267–277 E3. Coverage of <strong>the</strong> Project in <strong>the</strong> Local<br />

Daily Press




B<br />

ABOUT A<br />




A Navigati<strong>on</strong> Map to a Piecemeal Transformati<strong>on</strong> of an<br />

<str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Strategy into <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> Practices<br />

12<br />

09<br />

07<br />

11<br />

08<br />

10<br />

Figure 5: The twelve project fragments, most of which are implemented with different public funds. Some are yet to be realised<br />


01<br />

02<br />

05<br />

06<br />

03<br />

04<br />

0 10 40 N<br />

About a Piecemeal <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Strategy<br />


B1. An Interview about <strong>the</strong> “Scenario for <strong>the</strong> Space Between<br />

<strong>the</strong> City and <strong>the</strong> Sea” 2<br />

Michael Rudolph talks with Socrates Stratis<br />

Michael Rudolph: We would like to talk about<br />

your Europan 4 project from 1996 and how<br />

it has been adapted since <strong>the</strong> competiti<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Was <strong>the</strong>re already a c<strong>on</strong>cept of an<br />

<strong>on</strong>going process in <strong>the</strong> original proposal?<br />

Socrates Stratis: Our proposal was a criticism of<br />

master plans, which are often ra<strong>the</strong>r rigid and<br />

imposed. We also openly admitted our incomplete<br />

knowledge of <strong>the</strong> project c<strong>on</strong>diti<strong>on</strong>s. We <strong>the</strong>refore<br />

proposed a new interpretati<strong>on</strong> of <strong>the</strong> overall<br />

competiti<strong>on</strong> site from which we derived a strategy<br />

for <strong>the</strong> dynamic redefiniti<strong>on</strong> of <strong>the</strong> fringe area<br />

between <strong>the</strong> old city of Herakli<strong>on</strong> and <strong>the</strong> sea.<br />

Developing a scenario ra<strong>the</strong>r than presenting a fixed<br />

soluti<strong>on</strong> allowed us sufficient scope for developing an<br />

independent strategy, even though c<strong>on</strong>stantly changing<br />

tactics were necessary during <strong>the</strong> implementati<strong>on</strong><br />

process. The competiti<strong>on</strong> entry was a kind of case<br />

study for <strong>the</strong> strategy that sustained <strong>the</strong> project over<br />

<strong>the</strong> years.<br />

How did <strong>the</strong> project evolve after <strong>the</strong><br />

competiti<strong>on</strong>? Are you still working <strong>on</strong> it?<br />

At first, nothing happened until 2000. However, I<br />

used <strong>the</strong> project for my Master’s <strong>the</strong>sis research, and I<br />

seized <strong>the</strong> opportunity to proceed with my PhD work<br />

in Paris during that “frozen” project time. From<br />

2000-2002, we worked informally toge<strong>the</strong>r with <strong>the</strong><br />

municipality, helping to develop <strong>the</strong> programmatic<br />

brief. The first c<strong>on</strong>tract was signed in 2002, <strong>the</strong><br />

follow-up c<strong>on</strong>tracts in 2004. Currently, we are about<br />

to sign a fur<strong>the</strong>r c<strong>on</strong>tract for <strong>the</strong> planning of a ramped<br />

footbridge, c<strong>on</strong>necting <strong>the</strong> waterfr<strong>on</strong>t boulevard to <strong>the</strong><br />

pedestrian walk <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> city wall, six metres higher.<br />

1<br />

Would you now ra<strong>the</strong>r call it “project” or<br />

“process”?<br />

I call <strong>the</strong> draft design a “project” which c<strong>on</strong>sists of a<br />

defined strategy accompanied by changing tactical tools<br />

for <strong>the</strong> formal and informal negotiati<strong>on</strong>s between those<br />

involved. Later, <strong>the</strong> project receded into <strong>the</strong><br />

background and yielded to <strong>the</strong> specific form of physical<br />

space and public programme. A process is always<br />

embedded in <strong>the</strong> making of <strong>the</strong> project. It is, in fact,<br />

a trajectory fluctuating back and forth between tactics<br />

and overriding strategy, between negotiati<strong>on</strong> and <strong>the</strong><br />

build form.<br />

How is it possible to create a str<strong>on</strong>g local<br />

identity for <strong>the</strong> site and still keep a<br />

proposal “unspecific”?<br />

The specific part of <strong>the</strong> project is <strong>the</strong> strategy, whereas<br />

<strong>the</strong> tactics required for implementati<strong>on</strong> have been<br />

c<strong>on</strong>stantly adjusted and adapted. The new<br />

perspective introduced by <strong>the</strong> competiti<strong>on</strong> entry serves<br />

as a comm<strong>on</strong> ground for discourse between <strong>the</strong> actors.<br />

The core questi<strong>on</strong> here is how to rec<strong>on</strong>cile <strong>the</strong> clearly<br />

defined strategy of <strong>the</strong> original proposal with <strong>the</strong><br />

ever-changing tactical c<strong>on</strong>siderati<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

Is <strong>the</strong> project adaptable for future changes<br />

and developments?<br />

The acupuncture method we adopted has reinforced<br />

<strong>the</strong> major elements of <strong>the</strong> space between city and sea.<br />

I can imagine this method being pursued in <strong>the</strong> future.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r quite different dimensi<strong>on</strong> of adaptability<br />

is to be found in <strong>the</strong> design of <strong>the</strong> buildings of <strong>the</strong><br />

former market. Different uses share <strong>the</strong> same space,<br />

and this has l<strong>on</strong>g since become reality. The city council<br />

has established a neighbourhood advisory centre<br />

here, toge<strong>the</strong>r with an employment advisory service<br />

2 The interview was first published in 2014 in Germany’s Europan 12 Catalogue of Results.<br />


and a multipurpose hall. The former market space<br />

additi<strong>on</strong>ally houses municipal offices for European<br />

affairs. What did not work was a group of kiosks<br />

located at <strong>the</strong> perimeter of <strong>the</strong> public space as <strong>the</strong>y<br />

were not operated by <strong>the</strong> municipality. At present, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are used as display cabinets for agricultural products<br />

from <strong>the</strong> regi<strong>on</strong>. I very much like <strong>the</strong> creativity<br />

dem<strong>on</strong>strated in this soluti<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Which c<strong>on</strong>stant elements existed in <strong>the</strong><br />

process?<br />

The mayor, elected in 2003, and his city architect.<br />

And, of course, our office in Nicosia, that exists to<br />

<strong>the</strong> present day. Nor should we forget <strong>the</strong> friends we<br />

found in Herakli<strong>on</strong> and who have c<strong>on</strong>tinued to update<br />

us <strong>on</strong> what’s happening in <strong>the</strong> city.<br />

How have <strong>the</strong> team and protag<strong>on</strong>ists<br />

changed over time?<br />

The original team has been reduced in size. Of <strong>the</strong><br />

four people participating in <strong>the</strong> competiti<strong>on</strong> entry, two<br />

remained until <strong>the</strong> award of <strong>the</strong> first c<strong>on</strong>tract.<br />

Subsequently, I was <strong>the</strong> <strong>on</strong>ly remaining original<br />

member. Over <strong>the</strong> years, some of he engineers<br />

involved, who were already around sixty years old in<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1990s, have retired. My s<strong>on</strong> Manos was born<br />

about <strong>the</strong> same time as our competiti<strong>on</strong> entry was<br />

submitted – and now he’s 18 years old…<br />

Project Team<br />

For <strong>the</strong> Europan 4 competiti<strong>on</strong>, 1st prize (1996):<br />

Socrates Stratis, Kyriakos Koundouros, Akis Ioannides,<br />

Maria Loizidou.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> first c<strong>on</strong>tract (2002-2004):<br />

Socrates Stratis (AA&U), Kyriakos Koundouros<br />

Assistant architect: Riccardo <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>o.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> sec<strong>on</strong>d c<strong>on</strong>tract (2004-2018):<br />

Socrates Stratis (AA&U)<br />

Assistant architect: Riccardo <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g>o.<br />

Collaborators in A<strong>the</strong>ns for both c<strong>on</strong>tracts:<br />

Architect<strong>on</strong>iki EPE, (architects),<br />

Myl<strong>on</strong>as & Tzivanakis, structural engineers,<br />

LDK, electromechanical engineers,<br />

D. Rentzos, transport engineer,<br />

ENVECO, envir<strong>on</strong>mental engineers.<br />

External assistants for <strong>the</strong> first phase:<br />

M. Cosmas, M. Papademetriou, A. Poumbouri, Nicosia.<br />

Implementati<strong>on</strong>: 2002–2008 (first phase),<br />

2011–2018 (sec<strong>on</strong>d phase).<br />

Figure 6: Project model in three pieces / Scale 1:200<br />

About a Piecemeal <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Strategy<br />


C3<br />

C1<br />

C2<br />

C5<br />

C4<br />

Figure 21: Use of ramps to c<strong>on</strong>nect <strong>the</strong> old city with <strong>the</strong> levels of <strong>the</strong> sea and <strong>the</strong> city walls<br />

Figure 22: C4: 2002<br />

Figure 23: C1/C2: 2002<br />

Figure 24: C4: 2016<br />

Figure 25: C1/C2: 2016<br />

Aerial images before and after <strong>the</strong> project’s implementati<strong>on</strong> (source: Google Earth)<br />


C3<br />

C1<br />

C2<br />

C5<br />

C4<br />

Figure 26: Project strategy: extending <strong>the</strong> city’s public everyday life towards <strong>the</strong> seacoast with public programmes and spaces<br />

Figure 27: C2: 2020<br />

Figure 28: C5: 2002<br />

Figure 29: C5: 2020<br />

Figure 30: C5: 2016<br />

About a Piecemeal <str<strong>on</strong>g>Urban</str<strong>on</strong>g> <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Strategy<br />





C<br />













C3<br />

C1<br />

Figure 32: The archipelago of c<strong>on</strong>troversial design stories: Hercules’ stroll al<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong> space between <strong>the</strong> city and <strong>the</strong> sea<br />






C2<br />




THE SEA<br />

C5<br />

C4<br />

0 10 40<br />

Five Stories About <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> C<strong>on</strong>troversies<br />


The Historic Walls, <strong>the</strong> Safety Building Code,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Coastal Cantilevered Corridor<br />

A<br />

wooden corridor, barely a few metres wide,<br />

stretches for some dozen metres al<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

north edge of <strong>the</strong> Herakli<strong>on</strong> Old City in Crete, six<br />

metres above <strong>the</strong> Mediterranean Sea. The sound<br />

of <strong>the</strong> waves and <strong>the</strong> moisture of <strong>the</strong>ir evaporati<strong>on</strong><br />

reaches <strong>the</strong> shore in an eternal rhythm, just below.<br />

The four-lane road al<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong> Herakli<strong>on</strong> Old City<br />

coastline shrinks slightly to cross that point. Yet, it<br />

squeezes <strong>the</strong> “corridor” sitting <strong>on</strong> a metal structure,<br />

half a metre higher than <strong>the</strong> tarmac, cantilevering<br />

over <strong>the</strong> edge of <strong>the</strong> city. The passing cars barely<br />

avoid a refined crash barrier made of metal secti<strong>on</strong>s<br />

that protects <strong>the</strong> pedestrians walking <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

corridor. A biker is crossing cautiously <strong>the</strong> same<br />

“corridor”, just next to Hercules who is looking<br />

down <strong>the</strong> seven-metre drop to <strong>the</strong> sea <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

side. He is leaning <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> wooden balustrade,<br />

filled in with a stainless steel mesh. Hercules is<br />

not watching <strong>the</strong> magnificent view but something<br />

below <strong>the</strong> “corridor”.<br />

Figure 35-36: The project’s travelling model / Scale 1:500<br />

Figure 37: Historic map of Herakli<strong>on</strong>, source:<br />

Europan 4 competiti<strong>on</strong> material<br />

The shape of <strong>the</strong> raised cantilevered corridor<br />

is ra<strong>the</strong>r odd. Imagine <strong>the</strong> plan of a stretched<br />

rectangle. Then, carve out <strong>on</strong>e of its sides with an<br />

arch forming <strong>the</strong> road’s outer edge. The rectangle<br />

is sixty-nine metres l<strong>on</strong>g and five and a half metres<br />

wide. Its minimum width is two metres where it is<br />

squeezed by <strong>the</strong> road’s outer edge.<br />

Why such a form? A passer-by would w<strong>on</strong>der…<br />

Why couldn’t it be <strong>the</strong> same width and built of <strong>the</strong><br />

same materials as <strong>the</strong> rest of <strong>the</strong> coastal sidewalk<br />

and bikeway? It is a residual shape that betrays an<br />


actorial c<strong>on</strong>troversy during its design process,<br />

Hercules recalls.<br />

Looking at a map of <strong>the</strong> old city’s coastline,<br />

Hercules verifies that <strong>the</strong> corridor is situated at <strong>the</strong><br />

narrowest point between <strong>the</strong> city’s edge and <strong>the</strong><br />

sea. A listed st<strong>on</strong>e building marks <strong>the</strong> edge. The<br />

coastal road devours <strong>the</strong> narrow space between <strong>the</strong><br />

building and <strong>the</strong> edge of <strong>the</strong> historic walls.<br />

The historic walls of Herakli<strong>on</strong> date back to <strong>the</strong><br />

Venetians. A major defence structure built by <strong>the</strong><br />

Venetians to protect <strong>the</strong> city from <strong>the</strong> Ottomans.<br />

According to <strong>the</strong> Office of Antiquities, <strong>the</strong> seaside<br />

part of <strong>the</strong> walls is less significant, in terms of<br />

cultural heritage, than <strong>the</strong> secti<strong>on</strong> surrounding <strong>the</strong><br />

historical city. Yet, <strong>the</strong>y are protected by <strong>the</strong> same<br />

nati<strong>on</strong>al laws for cultural heritage. The landside<br />

part of <strong>the</strong> walls forms an impressive, six metres<br />

tall military defence structure that separates <strong>the</strong><br />

historic city from <strong>the</strong> former hinterland, that is now<br />

<strong>the</strong> c<strong>on</strong>temporary city of Herakli<strong>on</strong>. The seaside<br />

walls have been severely mishandled by <strong>the</strong> state<br />

bureaucrats, since <strong>the</strong> early 20th century. A part<br />

of <strong>the</strong> walls is covered by <strong>the</strong> 1930s coastal road<br />

that links <strong>the</strong> port to <strong>the</strong> rest of <strong>the</strong> island. O<strong>the</strong>r<br />

parts of <strong>the</strong> seaside walls are eroding due to <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

proximity to <strong>the</strong> sea that gets turbulent during <strong>the</strong><br />

winter. They are invisible from <strong>the</strong> city. When <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are not covered by <strong>the</strong> road embankments, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

form <strong>the</strong> edge of <strong>the</strong> city area six metres above sea<br />

level. Hercules is looking at <strong>the</strong>m, just below <strong>the</strong><br />

“corridor”. Yet, his glance travels bey<strong>on</strong>d those<br />

walls.<br />

Figure 38: On <strong>the</strong> cantilevered “corridor” – looking west<br />

“A new scandal at <strong>the</strong> city’s seafr<strong>on</strong>t! The c<strong>on</strong>tractor<br />

pierced <strong>the</strong> historic wall! ” In 2008, a journalist from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Herakli<strong>on</strong> local press denounced <strong>the</strong> chosen<br />

foundati<strong>on</strong> method (through piling) that was used<br />

for <strong>the</strong> road’s structural safety. The local Office of<br />

Antiquities stopped c<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> works for a few<br />

days to investigate <strong>the</strong> findings. The coastal road<br />

had stayed inaccessible for a few weeks to allow for<br />

<strong>the</strong> c<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> of <strong>the</strong> corridor.<br />

C<strong>on</strong>troversy 01<br />


A significant disrupti<strong>on</strong> of car traffic in <strong>the</strong> city that<br />

was prol<strong>on</strong>ged for a few days due to <strong>the</strong> incident of<br />

piercing <strong>the</strong> historic walls.<br />

Hercules’ friends from Herakli<strong>on</strong> sent <strong>the</strong><br />

newspaper article to his office in Nicosia. Hercules<br />

is not as young as he was when he visited Herakli<strong>on</strong><br />

for <strong>the</strong> first time. During that first visit, he was<br />

shadowing <strong>the</strong> winning team of <strong>the</strong> Europan 4<br />

competiti<strong>on</strong>, that was full of excitement to share<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir winning project with <strong>the</strong> city’s actors. He was,<br />

and still is, a good friend of <strong>the</strong> Team. Hercules<br />

has been accompanying <strong>the</strong> passage from <strong>the</strong><br />

Europan 4 ideas competiti<strong>on</strong> to its realisati<strong>on</strong><br />

for twenty-two years. He is an expert in mapping<br />

c<strong>on</strong>troversial matters during such passage rituals.<br />

He likes to investigate <strong>the</strong> moments when urban<br />

strategies are transformed into material practices,<br />

and when multiple “desirables” are at stake,<br />

during a transformed design process trajectory,<br />

before bifurcati<strong>on</strong>. He likes to c<strong>on</strong>sider which<br />

“desirable” is going to prevail? This is why he<br />

shadows <strong>the</strong> team, to understand <strong>the</strong>ir ecology of<br />

practices and how <strong>the</strong>y negotiate by introducing<br />

new “desirables”, or by adjusting those <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

negotiati<strong>on</strong> table. This mapping of c<strong>on</strong>troversies<br />

has been his <strong>on</strong>-going passi<strong>on</strong>. He calls it “<str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Process Forensic Investigati<strong>on</strong>”. It is for this kind<br />

of investigati<strong>on</strong> that he is currently spending a few<br />

days in Herakli<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Hercules is still examining <strong>the</strong> corridor’s metal<br />

c<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> that is part of <strong>the</strong> structural<br />

reinforcement of <strong>the</strong> road foundati<strong>on</strong>s. Why such<br />

an odd combinati<strong>on</strong>? He is about to remember.<br />

“Mr. Mayor, we can’t redesign <strong>the</strong> waterfr<strong>on</strong>t road without<br />

a minimum sidewalk width! We are killing <strong>the</strong> seafr<strong>on</strong>t<br />

pedestrian network,” he recalls <strong>the</strong> members of <strong>the</strong><br />

Team saying. They were standing at <strong>the</strong> same<br />

spot, a few years back, negotiating <strong>the</strong> future of<br />

<strong>the</strong> road with <strong>the</strong> Mayor of Herakli<strong>on</strong>, <strong>the</strong> old<br />

city department project engineer, and <strong>the</strong> Team’s<br />

transport engineer. They were squeezed between<br />


<strong>the</strong> passing-by cars, <strong>the</strong> parked cars, and <strong>the</strong><br />

six-metre drop. The mayor was standing before<br />

Hercules, looking carefully at <strong>the</strong> map unfolded by<br />

<strong>the</strong> transport engineer. Hercules put himself at <strong>the</strong><br />

edge of <strong>the</strong> group, not interfering with <strong>the</strong> heated<br />

discussi<strong>on</strong>s. He remained a shadow. The mayor<br />

liked him and quite often would invite him for a<br />

ride with his municipal Mercedes to proudly show<br />

him <strong>the</strong> city’s projects. “We need <strong>the</strong> space for <strong>the</strong> road.<br />

We can’t significantly reduce <strong>the</strong> width of <strong>the</strong> lanes at this<br />

narrow point. It will cause accidents. We will allow for a<br />

narrow sidewalk for <strong>the</strong> pedestrians,” <strong>the</strong> mayor persists.<br />

The Team explained in vain that it was not enough.<br />

Their transport engineer was supporting <strong>the</strong><br />

mayor’s positi<strong>on</strong>.<br />

Implementing a four-lane boulevard at all<br />

costs was <strong>the</strong> “desirable” outcome for <strong>the</strong><br />

mayor and <strong>the</strong> political leadership of <strong>the</strong> city.<br />

Implementing a less busy coastal urban boulevard,<br />

with acceptable sidewalks and bikeways, was <strong>the</strong><br />

Team’s “desirable”, backed up by <strong>the</strong> A<strong>the</strong>ns<br />

Central Archaeological Council. Unfortunately, <strong>the</strong><br />

Team failed to c<strong>on</strong>vince <strong>the</strong> local actors to turn<br />

<strong>the</strong> coastal road into a two-lane street by diverting<br />

<strong>the</strong> port traffic to a bypass. The city’s c<strong>on</strong>cern was<br />

that <strong>the</strong> existing ring road was already problematic<br />

in terms of c<strong>on</strong>gesti<strong>on</strong>. There was no upgrading<br />

plan for <strong>the</strong> ring road by <strong>the</strong> regi<strong>on</strong>al and central<br />

governments. Strangely enough, <strong>the</strong> Herakli<strong>on</strong> Port<br />

Authority was not <strong>on</strong> <strong>the</strong> city’s side.<br />

Figure 39: Sketch of <strong>the</strong> Team’s desirable situati<strong>on</strong> of <strong>the</strong><br />

cantilevered corridor<br />

Figure 40: C<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> details of <strong>the</strong> cantilevered<br />

corridor<br />

Hercules turns his head away from <strong>the</strong> sea to look<br />

at <strong>the</strong> city, where <strong>the</strong> four-lane road c<strong>on</strong>tinues to be<br />

a barrier between <strong>the</strong> city and <strong>the</strong> seacoast. Cars are<br />

c<strong>on</strong>tinually coming and going. He can see over <strong>the</strong><br />

cars’ tops, thanks to <strong>the</strong> raised “corridor”. He feels<br />

safer <strong>on</strong> this raised passage each time <strong>the</strong> incoming<br />

cars drive by.<br />

The Team’s suggesti<strong>on</strong> to create a cantilevered<br />

sidewalk was met with scepticism by <strong>the</strong> local<br />

authorities and was later rejected due to <strong>the</strong> high<br />

additi<strong>on</strong>al cost.<br />

C<strong>on</strong>troversy 01<br />


Hercules<br />

undertakes his<br />

Forensic <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g><br />

Process<br />

Investigati<strong>on</strong> by<br />

firstly choosing <strong>the</strong><br />

c<strong>on</strong>troversial<br />

moments regarding<br />

<strong>the</strong> rite of passage<br />

from strategies to<br />

practices. He<br />

carefully studies<br />

<strong>the</strong> ecology of <strong>the</strong><br />

practices and <strong>the</strong><br />

agencies of <strong>the</strong><br />

Team.<br />

Yet, it was a sort of ‘triggering desirable’, he<br />

recalls, since this suggesti<strong>on</strong> gradually led to <strong>the</strong><br />

implemented third desirable, <strong>the</strong> raised cantilevered<br />

“corridor”. Hercules has shadowed most of <strong>the</strong><br />

Europan 4 winning project’s implementati<strong>on</strong><br />

processes. He saw how <strong>the</strong>se processes<br />

transformed an urban acupuncture strategy of<br />

c<strong>on</strong>necting soft mobility networks into a matrix<br />

of material practices. He understood from <strong>the</strong><br />

very beginning how such transformati<strong>on</strong> lay at<br />

<strong>the</strong> heart of <strong>the</strong> implemented “desirables” that<br />

benefited <strong>the</strong> city’s publics. He witnessed how <strong>the</strong><br />

young, inexperienced Team gradually designed<br />

a tactful plan to incrementally gain alliances<br />

am<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong> urban actors. He understood how this<br />

approach was <strong>the</strong> driving force of piecemeal urban<br />

interventi<strong>on</strong>s.<br />

“We can’t c<strong>on</strong>cede in designing <strong>the</strong> four-lane road, if we<br />

d<strong>on</strong>’t make sure that <strong>the</strong> historic walls will not collapse due<br />

to <strong>the</strong> heavy trucks that pass by. Safety codes, you know!<br />

The proximity of <strong>the</strong> Venetian walls with <strong>the</strong> new road may<br />

pose structural problems. The <strong>on</strong>ly way to accept <strong>the</strong><br />

design of a four-lane road is to include an underground<br />

structural wall in <strong>the</strong> project which will prevent <strong>the</strong> trucks’<br />

load from reaching <strong>the</strong> walls.” The Team brought<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir “desirable”, <strong>the</strong> cantilevered pathway, in<br />

through <strong>the</strong> back door. They tactfully redirected<br />

<strong>the</strong> outcome regarding <strong>the</strong> prevailing desirable<br />

of <strong>the</strong> negotiati<strong>on</strong>. A redirecti<strong>on</strong> that creatively<br />

entangled a structural detail, a safety code, and <strong>the</strong><br />

cantilevered corridor.<br />

Knowing that <strong>the</strong> local authority was not a<br />

homogeneous instituti<strong>on</strong> helped <strong>the</strong> Team in<br />

establishing “incremental alliances”. According<br />

to Hercules, it was a painstaking process for<br />

project actors, with no decisi<strong>on</strong>-power or leverage,<br />

to influence <strong>the</strong> choice of <strong>on</strong>e “desirable” over<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r. The negotiati<strong>on</strong> fr<strong>on</strong>ts shifted during<br />

<strong>the</strong> design process. Hercules witnessed how <strong>the</strong><br />

actors from <strong>the</strong> technical department would often<br />

shift to <strong>the</strong> Team’s side, thanks to such a tactful<br />

undertaking. He was not surprised, <strong>the</strong>refore, to<br />


hear that <strong>the</strong> city’s technical department agreed<br />

that any redesign of <strong>the</strong> coastal road should abide<br />

by structural safety regulati<strong>on</strong>s. The mayor had no<br />

choice but to follow <strong>the</strong>ir point of view.<br />

Hercules is walking up and down <strong>the</strong> short<br />

stretch of <strong>the</strong> “corridor”. When he is next to <strong>the</strong><br />

wooden balustrade, <strong>the</strong> sound of <strong>the</strong> waves<br />

prevails. The sound of <strong>the</strong> car engines dominates<br />

as so<strong>on</strong> as he walks closer to <strong>the</strong> opposite edge, just<br />

a couple of metres away. Fascinating, he notes. He<br />

stops at <strong>the</strong> road edge and looks down. Just under<br />

his feet, an invisible row of c<strong>on</strong>crete piles is buried<br />

in <strong>the</strong> thick ground, a banal retaining wall that<br />

nobody notices. Yet, by introducing that piling wall,<br />

<strong>the</strong> cantilever opti<strong>on</strong> was much cheaper and thus<br />

plausible. A checkmate by <strong>the</strong> Team, he smiles. He<br />

imagines he has X-ray visi<strong>on</strong> and takes a fresh look<br />

at <strong>the</strong> tarmac of <strong>the</strong> road, where he sees buried<br />

metal I-beams that cross <strong>the</strong> road foundati<strong>on</strong>,<br />

are supported by <strong>the</strong> pilling wall, and stretch over<br />

<strong>the</strong> historic walls without touching <strong>the</strong>m. All that<br />

infrastructural preparati<strong>on</strong> to install a wooden<br />

corridor! Yet, an utterly valuable fragment for <strong>the</strong><br />

city’s soft mobility network.<br />

Hercules undertakes his Forensic <str<strong>on</strong>g>Design</str<strong>on</strong>g> Process<br />

Investigati<strong>on</strong> by firstly choosing <strong>the</strong> c<strong>on</strong>troversial<br />

moments regarding <strong>the</strong> rite of passage from<br />

strategies to practices. He carefully studies <strong>the</strong><br />

ecology of <strong>the</strong> practices and <strong>the</strong> agencies of <strong>the</strong><br />

Team. Hercules puts his camera and notebook back<br />

in his briefcase and heads fur<strong>the</strong>r east al<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong><br />

pathway, just a few hundred metres, to <strong>the</strong> sec<strong>on</strong>d<br />

c<strong>on</strong>troversial site of <strong>the</strong> Europan 4 project, <strong>the</strong><br />

ramps that wanted to be <strong>the</strong> roof of <strong>the</strong> Municipal<br />

Baths.<br />

Figure 41: The c<strong>on</strong>troversial site before <strong>the</strong> project’s<br />

implementati<strong>on</strong> – looking east<br />

C<strong>on</strong>troversy 01<br />


C1<br />

Figure 42: Existing situati<strong>on</strong><br />


C<strong>on</strong>troversy 01<br />


Figure 47: The cantilevered corridor – looking west<br />



Figure 48: Al<strong>on</strong>g <strong>the</strong> cantilevered corridor – looking east<br />



Figure 52: The cantilevered corridor under c<strong>on</strong>structi<strong>on</strong> – metal and wooden structure<br />


A<br />

A<br />

Figure 53: Site plan of <strong>the</strong> cantilevered corridor<br />

0 5 20<br />

N<br />

0 1 5 10<br />

Figure 54: Secti<strong>on</strong> AA: The hidden structure that protects <strong>the</strong> city walls and supports <strong>the</strong> cantilevered corridor<br />

C<strong>on</strong>troversy 01<br />


Figure 215: Box files archiving project documents in <strong>the</strong> office<br />





Figure 233: A c<strong>on</strong>cert at <strong>the</strong> public space of <strong>the</strong> former vegetable market (see C5)<br />



Figure 234: A c<strong>on</strong>cert (see C5) Figure 235<br />

Figures 235–236: Readjustment of <strong>the</strong> kiosks to showcase local food<br />

producti<strong>on</strong> (see C5)<br />

Figure 238: Food festival<br />


Figure 236<br />

Figure 237: Food festival<br />

Figure 239: Preparing <strong>the</strong> chairs for a public event<br />

Figure 240: Christmas decorati<strong>on</strong><br />

The Project’s Public Life<br />



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