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Skiers' reception building

in Vasilitsa Ski Center, Grevena

Diploma Project, N.T.U.A., 2017

This diploma project is about conceiving and designing a skiers’ reception building at the lowest point of Vasilitsa Ski Center in Grevena, Greece (base of the center’s 3-seat aerial lift, 1650m. altitude), thus providing adequate infrastructure for the constantly increasing number of the Ski Center’s visitors -one of the largest in Greece- while at the same time respecting the natural habitat of Vasilitsa. The building is conceived to operate during the summer period as well, hosting activities like hiking, climbing and downhill bike riding.

Primary goal of the design process was to converse with the landscape -given that the built environment around the intervention site is already minimal- which immediately creates a challenge for a building which must serve 2000 visitors per day but should simultaneously not compete with its surroundings.

 

Further developing this principle, it was also attempted to alter the natural terrain as little as possible, introducing an aspect of “economical” design in the project -not strictly in the financial meaning of the term. For that reason, the natural concavity facing the existing parking space was selected as the intervention site, reducing the need for extended earthwork while enabling a “low-profile” building, blended with the topography. This spot was also selected for its close proximity to all three major points of interest of the site: the existing infrastructure (aerial lift), the parking space (access from the road) and the ski slopes (access from the mountain).

Last but not least, a reinvention of a ski center’s typology was sought, by establishing an “organic” connection between the building and the activity it hosts. In other words, it was envisioned that the architecture would be part of the skiing experience, and the opposite.