Striking plans for city hall of Messolongi

All the new city halls that have been constructed in recent years in the suburbs of Athens and Thessaloniki, and other in cities around the country, have provided an outlet to many architects. Architectural competitions, which are the criteria used in city hall constructions, offer special opportunities for them to channel their creativity. Last week, the results of the architectural competition for the new city hall of Messolongi were announced. Situated on the edge of the city center, the building will take over the greatest part of a large block. The first prize went to architect Alexandros Tripodakis, who collaborated with counselors E. Frezadou, V. Boulougouris and I. Tripidaki, and E. Natsi. Tripodakis, known for his work at Athens Municipality back when Antonis Tritsis was mayor in the 1980s, saw the new city hall as something more than just a bureaucratic home; he designed it as a modern hive of social activity and cultural creation, which will not only cover all the basic functions of a city hall, but will also cater for needs that the city has not provided for. The building’s solid backside, which resembles a fortress, will set an austere standard for the remaining buildings of the block and, when combined with the equally solid Hall of Events, will form an L-shaped reception area. The entrance is different; the sloping parts of the upper side gradually give way to successive outdoor and semi-outdoor spaces. «As an architect, one has to take into account all the factors that have shaped the city’s construction plans; one cannot ignore them,» said Tripodakis, explaining the discreet inclusion of elements that define Messolongi into the design of its new city hall.