RC - Patras, Reformation of the square Georgiou A

Short description: 

The square of King George I is of great historic importance for the city of Patras. It is characteristically located in its centre with the "Apollo" Municipal Theatre as its reference point. It constitutes one of the most significant neoclassical buildings of the city, designed by Ernst Ziller and built in 1857. It is the most important theatre of Patras hosting the most important theatrical performances. The square, in its former design, was mainly characterized by neoclassical features (a rectangular shape and two symmetrically placed fountains).
The plan for its reconstruction has sprang from the need for its expansion on both sides (in front of the theatre and opposite it) along with the banning of vehicle circulation on these sides. Its current expansion allows the square's direct connection with the theatre, thus coping with the increasing demands of the pedestrians and of the general public and their activities.
 

Start date: 
30/01/2001
Implementation date: 
30/01/2005
Place: 
City of Patras
Country: 
Greece
Completion date: 
30/01/2005
Region: 
Western Greece - Achaia Prefecture

Scale
Local

Phase
Completed

Type(s) of MILU


Intensifying of space for one function.

Theme(s)


GREEN - green spaces and urban rural relations.

Partners

Initiative:

Municipality of Patras

Planning and design:

G. Vais - P. Panagjotopoulos (Office of Architectural Studies)

Realisation:

Municipality of Patras (Financed by the Program Greece 2004)

Lessons learned
The aim of the reformation was first and foremost the qualitative improvement of one of the most important open-air spaces of the city which is connected with the most significant roads and its commercial centre and would thus affect the whole city. The citizens and officials had responded positively to the publication of the study and the planning of the reformation, granted that the square is in the heart of the city and every development would be welcomed. However, there were some reactions during the work: the citizens complained about the delays and the consequent discomfort and the shopkeepers protested about a decrease of clientèle.


Opinions nowadays, after the work has been completed, diverge greatly on this issue. For instance, a number of citizens as well as the local press reacted against the lack of greenery and the new elements of the square. On the whole, the square still seems to search for its identity and its role for the city and the people. It is, in other words, early for objective judgments on the success of the undertaking and of its initial aims, which were the improvement of the urban environment and of the aesthetics of its open-air spaces.