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april 2014


SHORT CV EDUCATION 2006-2014 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Diploma of Architect Enginner. Grade: 9.34 /10 2010-2011 Rheinisch-Westf채lische Technische Hochschule Aachen Certificate of exchange studies

Terpsithea Laopoulou date of birth: 07.07.1988 /Thessaloniki, Greece

WORK EXPERIENCE Freelance drafting work for architect F. Zografou (Aachen, Germany), Dec.-Jul. 2010/2011

nationality - citizenship: Greek



Greek English German Spanish

p: +30 6938421660

native C2 / CPE-grade A B2 / Goethe-Zertifikat B1 courses in Germany B2 / DELE, Nivel B2- Intermedio

SOFTWARE SKILLS Autodesk AutoCAD /v.2006-2011, advanced 2d Rhinoceros 3D /v.4-5, advanced Adobe PS, AI, ID /v.CS3-CS5 - advanced SketchUp /v.6-8, advanced Autodesk 3ds max /v. 9-2009, intermediate


Diploma Design Thesis

p. 04-13

Diploma Research Thesis

p. 14-17

URBAN DESIGN AND PLANNING Transitional Places Planning for the Municipality of Mygdonia ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN Atzelberg-Turm Small Hotel and Spa Complex

p. 18-25 p. 26-33

p. 34-39

p. 40-45

Sit or Strip

p. 46-49

Void Network

p. 50-53



Explorations on Public Space in the City Center sidewalks, intersections, rest points etc., for the center of Thessaloniki

Among the many and complicated issues related to public space and its design, this thesis researches a rather small field: the ‘bas relief’ of the urban ground (physical form of the space between buildings) and its interrelation with the movement within it, concentrating especially on pedestrian movement and the “pedestrian-friendly” aspect of central urban space. “Pedestrian-friendly” can be further defined, in the context of the densely built center of Thessaloniki, not only as the provision of comfortable walking space, but also by the degree to which pedestrians are given (perceptional) priority over vehicles, the degree to which urban design offers attractive rest points, highlights landmarks and generally enhances the “flaneur” experience of the city. Within this framework then, this project proposes a prototype for minimal interventions, a system of “urban acupuncture” points, where a layer of concrete shapes a new urban ground. This new terrain incorporates public seating and other small elements of urban equipment, reclaiming residual spaces revealed by a careful re-alignment of (pedestrian and vehicular) lanes of movement. A curved, flowy form is chosen as the main structural principle of this new terrain, constructed partly

of in-situ cast concrete -like functional urban sculpture. Additionally, in order to allow this system enough flexibility to accommodate a variety of urban corners, seven standardized elements are defined - small volumes made of the same concrete material and following the same, curved, principle, albeit simplified according to a number of desired functions. In order to determine suitable intervention points, the center of Thessaloniki was gradually analyzed into sub-areas, taking into account factors such as: trends of spatial arrangement and dynamics of commerce /entertainment venues, movement axes, pedestrian densities, perceptional obstacles, existing and desired landmarks etc. In the end, fourteen proposed sites are identified, a coherent network of micro-spaces, each one of which refers to a particularly interesting urban structure (entry point, passage, void, important building etc.). Of those fourteen sites, two are chosen to be specifically designed, as examples of implementation. The first is a busy central intersection (Ermou - Venizelou str.) and the second a part of two secondary streets (Diamanti - Ebrar), where a small unbuild plot lays crammed among dense ten-story buildings.


diploma design thesis individual project

defended: Feb. 2014



A. Alexopoulou

AUTh Department of Architecture



movement densities /sub-areas, flow obstacles / flow improvements, poits of interest

Analysis diagrams

Proposed intervention points network


explorations on functionality and form principles, for each intervention point

Concept diagrams

preconstucted concrete elements and examples of combinations

Standardization of construction




Site 1: Intersection

(Ermou-Venizelou strs.) site-specific diagrams plan - section 1:200


Site 2: Small Void

(Ebrar-Diamanti strs.) site-specific diagrams plan - isometric section 1:200




Site 1: Intersection

model 1:200 / perspective sketch





Site 2: Small Void

model 1:200 / perspective sketch




Re-examining the Global Informal City investigations on urban informality in cities of the global south

This research paper focuses on the ways in which the notion of “urban informality” has been perceived by, researched and dealt with by the (broad) academic field of Architecture in recent years. The particularity of this revived attention to informal settlements is that current research often seems to be seeking answers from them, instead of just proposing them. In an attempt to define the roots, the influence and the possible outcomes of such appoaches, common threads are traced from two directions, Urban Geography on the one hand and Representations on the other, and three case studies from architectural offices are reviewed within the framework these threads create. The objective is not to come to definitive conclusions, but to critically examine such approaches and define both problematic and promising aspects. [~15.000 words]

Contents introduction appendix 1 attempts at defining “informal”

chapter 1_ informality as part of the discussion on the city

1.1_ models of analysis of the urban condition Chicago School Political Economy Los Angeles School of Urbanism Global Cities 1.2_ the Global South issue 1.3_the “paradigm shift” idea 1.4_the role of informality


diploma research thesis individual project

defended: Feb. 2013


K. Tsoukala

AUTh Department of Architecture


chapter 2_ readings and representations

chapter 3_ architecture

appendix 2 Dionisio González Favelas Series

3.1_ Rem Koolhaas / Harvard Project on the City 3.2_ Urban Think Tank

2.1_ ”reading” informality 2.2_ two-dimensional interventions

JR photography Favela Painting

3.3_ Teddy Cruz


2.3_ projecting informality the case of Torre David 2.4_ ”favela chic” / a discussion on aesthetics and aestheticization representation

bibliography image sources



Writing Sample : Introduction

According to most urban surveys carried out by the U.N. and other institutions, towards the end of 2007 a ‘critical point’ in the course of global urbanization can be pinpointed: the first time in history that the largest portion of the planet’s population resided in urban, as opposed to rural, environments. So far East Africa remains the least urbanized area, but even there it is estimated that the ‘critical point’ will have been bypassed by mid-century. Urbanization is, of course, already a historical procedure, but urban concentrations of 10, 20 or 30 million have only emerged during the last decades of the 20th century - most of them situated in developing countries and continuing to exhibit the highest population growth rates. ‘Urban concentrations’, instead of ‘cities’, because the lines have been blurred. The term ‘city’, while traditionally signifying a settlement of (relatively) high population density within a distinct spatial area, is becoming more and more theoretical, almost abstract - in the meantime, for the description of actual situations, a number of new terms have been conceived: city-region, metropolitan region, megapolis, greater […] area, urban corridor etc. This linguistic confusion seems to reflect an existing research problem: each survey, each research project must set its own (spatial) boundaries from scratch, as there hardly exists a unified mode of categorizing urban areas.


Within this frame of renegotiations of boundaries and definitions, there has recently appeared another one: the “global informal city”. “Informal” has the central role here, a term difficult to accurately define some attempts are presented at appendix 1. In a very general sense, it is used in current literature to describe settlements that could be called slums, areas within or on the edges of cities, made up of more or less poorly constructed lodges and lacking infrastructure, which are often (but not always) the result of squatting. This phenomenon is definitely not new - it is in fact part of almost all European and North-American cities’ history -, however its proportions today are unprecedented, as in many mega-cities in the developing world a very large portion of the population (in some cases even half or more) lives in such conditions. Local differentiations between such cities are great, but there are also common elements, most importantly the fact that they were until recently (and to a certain extent still are) absent from the “cities world map”, although their size is considerable, to say the least. In today’s intensifying global urbanization context though, and with the Global South gradually claiming an important place in urban studies, urban informality is receiving more and more attention from the field of architecture (in the broadest sense, including urban design, planning, etc.). It is not, of course, the first time architecture has dealt with the subject, but what clearly distinguishes recent approaches is the fact that they tend to view it in a different light - a very positive one. Characteristically, most recent publications on the subject of urban informality come with titles such as “learning from…” or “a new paradigm”.


This renewed interest in the ‘dark side’ of the city is precisely the subject of the present paper. What is the basis for this new positive perception of a situation that used to be regarded as unacceptable, or simply ignored as a necessary evil? What are the different expressions of such a perception, and to what sort of approaches do they seem to lead? Can architecture influence life in informal settlements and, even more, can architecture really learn something from them? In the attempt to investigate the above questions, this paper begins from the field of social studies on the city, especially urban geography, as it is there where the theoretical framework begins to take shape, in which the architectural discourse on the city takes place. The other side of this framework is examined in the second chapter, which focuses on the image of informality, or better yet on the representations of informality - verbal or pictorial. This particular discussion is, up to a degree, of great interest to the field of architecture, not just because it suggests a trend in perceptions, but also because architecture is, just like art, also bound to the issue of representation (of ideas, ideologies, identities, …). Finally, three particular architectural approaches in relation to informality are presented and examined within the framework set in the first chapters. The chosen examples definitely do not cover the whole available range, they do however represent three similar views of the subject, originating from different geographical points, and complementing the conceptual threads formed in chapters one and two.


Transitional Places urban design at the edges of the city

The broader object of study of this design studio was the former industrial area of Thessaloniki, located just to the west of the city center. Since the industries moved out -the last ones only a couple of decades ago-, the area’s status and identity have been rather uncertain. New uses have moved in -hotels, shopping and entertainment venues on the one hand, immigrant communities on the other, and the sex industry somewhere in between- but none of them has so far managed to define neither the building stock, nor the large and valuable unbuilt portion of space - and the same goes for the city authorities. Hence the characterization “transitional”. Within this framework, each team of students was asked to themselves define a more specific area or intervention and an appropriate concept. After the initial analysis, our team chose the area of the old railway station, which is in itself a peculiar space: It is still in use as a commerce station, but only barely (about one small train per day), and as an “open warehouse” for old wagons. This means that it is still walled and somewhat guarded, but essentially abandonded, a sort of secret space crammed between two high-speed roads, the west entrances to the city.

In light of that, and guided by our perconal perceptions of the space, we decided to define and treat it as a “ terrain vague”, by the term of Ignasi de Sota Morales. A place that resists the trend for over-exploitation that characterizes so much portion of all Greek cities. A true residual place. Because of that understanding, and also because of the internally divided structure of the space (a result of the old functional requirements), we opted not to design for the area as whole, but instead to create five “incidents”,or “episodes”. Five specific spatial structures placed in, and guided by, five particular sites within the old station: #1: The Apple of Discord | #2: Double Agent | #3: Thin Red Line | #4 On the Last Wagon | #5: After we missed the train We viewed this project as an architectural narrative, told in pieces - episodes, each of them amplifying speciic spatial characteristcs, and held together by a the common thread of the ‘terrain vague’ concept. The result is neither an “urban park”, nor a “multi-purpose space”, but a real urban void, activated through specific, limited interventions.


urban design studio group project, with: spring semester supervisors: Marios Papanikolaou 2011/2012 A. Alexopoulou Nefeli Vasilopoulou A. Lada


AUTh Department of Architecture



Analysis: diagrams of sub-areas and elements, initial exloratory models

Interpretations: concept collages of impressions and intentions (partial reproductions)


#5 #1: The Apple of Discord an observatory tower, a landmark gesture, on the narrow end of the station towards the city


#2: Double Agent between two linear buildings, another one. A transition from the city to the inside of the station


#3: Thin Red Line an aerial promenade enhancing the linear perspective, tribute to the rail and electric lines #4: On the Last Wagon routes and rest points through the area where old wagons are stored #5: After We Missed the Train A concrete canopy activates the space between two old repair stations






Episode 1: The Apple of Discord


Episode 2: Double Agent




Episode 5: After We Missed the Train




Planning for the Municipality of Mygdonia urban strategies and design for peripheral towns

The Municipality of Mygdonia lies just north of the Metropolitan Area of Thessaloniki, and currently it could be described as a “buffer zone” between the urban area of the city and the purely rural areas further north. There are three main towns in the municipality: Liti, Drymos and Melissoxori, Liti being the largest among them, as well as home to all municipal authorities. The whole area is closely linked, or rather dependent on, the city of Thessaloniki, in both an economical and a general sense (e.g. most children living in the area actually attend school in Thessaloniki). Therefore, it also functions as a sort of “peripheral-suburb”. The assignment of this studio was divided in four parts. The first two, Analysis and General Strategy, concerned the whole of the municipality, and asked that student teams produce a coherent strategic plan for the the future of the area, both in urban and rural sections. With up-to-date researches taken into account, each team was to come up with a plan for the evolution of the three main towns and their inter-relations. Large-scale land uses were to be specified, and also calculations were to be made, regarding area size of possible expansions and so forth.

The next two parts, Urban planning and Urban Design, concerned the town of Liti. According to the conclusions drawn in the previous phase, student teams were to specify planning policies for Liti. This entailed detailed calculations of housing, service and public spatial needs, in accordance to current legislation, as well as the division of the town into sectors and the specification of building regulations for each sub-area. The urban planning phase concludes with the production of a general masterplan, showing the general structure of the proposed new areas (road alignments, public-private space etc.) and the exact placement of communal facilities such as schools. Finally, the urban design phase focuses on the center of Liti. For this phase, the masterplan is to depict the general guidelines for the design of public spaces and buildings (such as the town hall), street configurations and the provision of parking spaces, as well as the division of housing blocks into individual private plots. We do not further elaborate into speciic building plans, but indicative representations are produced, showing the resulting form of blocks in different sectors and giving examples of street design.


regional and urban planning studio group project, with: winter semester supervisors: AUTh Department of Architecture Nefeli Vasilopoulou 2009/2010 D. Kotsakis A. Tasopoulou G. Gemenetzi URBAN DESIGN AND PLANNING



Area of study and general strategy: The three towns of the municipality already show signs of blending with each other: the areas in between are occupied with residencies, to the point where it is difficult to tell one town from the other. We can therefore identify expansion tendensies or each town, and plan accordigly, so that adequate infrastructure is set up. Outside off the three-town urban cluster, we propose special regulation areas, aimed at protecting the agriculture lands in betweeen and the forest to the southwest. Heavy industry is gathered in two specified areas, along the main road connections.



Planning for the town of Liti: According to the general strategy and the population predictions developed in the first phase, we decide to plan for almost a doubling in size for the town of LIti. We specify eight sectors, the first seven being newly planned areas. Sector eight is the old core of the town, which is mainly preserved as is, with a few minor changes to improve street alignment and to provide space for communal infrastructure. The other sectors are set so that, by differenciating building regulations in each, we can achieve variations of density - around the new town center (V), sectors are designed to accomodate denser housing and to facilitate commerce, while sectors on the border of the forest (I, IV) or the old town (VII) are set for lower density, single-family houses and the creation of coherent neighborhoods.



General masterplan of Liti: /1:2000 part of the old section (right) and adjusent expansion sectors, with representation of different street types - building regulations for each zone (red-green-yelloworange lines). Limits: at the bottom, protected forest area. At the top: highway and green buffer zone. Also specified: green zones network, spaces reserved for communal uses (hatches and symbols for different uses - education, sports, etc.)


concept sketches for the structure of the expanded city. above: street orientations, communal spaces, new city center (red) below: proposed bus routes




Focus on the new center of Liti: / 1:500 Urban and landscape design guidelines for the new Town Hall of Liti, to the purpose of creating a network of public spaces and incorporating the river into it. Types of roads (normal, pedestrianonly, woonerfs) and parking spots around the area ar also specified. Within the building blocks, property divisions are proposed, based on regulations and estimations of sitespecific needs.


Indicative blocks of sectors III and IV



Atzelberg-Turm wooden observation tower on the Atzelberg hill in Taunus, Germany

The object of this studio was to design an observation tower, about thirty-five meters tall, constructed primarily out of wood or with a combination of wood and metal. The tower is to be situated on top of the Atzelberg hill in Taunus, near Frankurt, where the basis of an earlier similar structure (now destroyed), still exists. The new tower should be thought of as a landmark / tourist attraction. The main focus is the structural system, of which wood should be the main element. Thus the architectural and structural design are in this case closely interrelated, almost identical. With the concept of not only providing a viewing spot, but also an “interpretation” of the view, the form chosen for the tower is a curved, asymmetrical one. The whole structure is situated in a way that draws the viewer’s eye mainly to the northeast, towards the valley of Frankurt, while decreasing the impact of a nearby, much taller, concrete television tower. The free form of the tower is guided by the outlines of four ellipses, with different sizes and degrees of deformation, which are the viewing platforms. These are enclosed in a net-like structure, a curved space frame constructed

of two overlapping layers of wood strips. This is the principal structural system of the tower, constructed of curved composite lumber strips with metal connectors. The platforms are also wooden, made with cross laminated timber which allows for fewer support beams. They divide the external space frame into five sections, which are preconstructed an assembled on site. The stairway is a self-supporting light metal structure, situated in the core of the tower and connencted to the external structural systam at the level of the platforms. Apart from the design of the tower and the material choices, part of the project was the structural calcluation and the production of construction details for the grounding and the connections points of the structure.


design and technology studio individual project winter semester supervisors: RWTH Department of Architecture 2010/2011 M. Trautz C. Koj M. Ayoubi ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN



Initial model /1:100

Final models /1:100 - /1:50





detail D3 /1:5

section and plans /1:50

detail D4 /1:5




Small Hotel and Spa Complex in the area of Mikra, Thessaloniki

The site assigned for this project lies at the east part of the coastline of Thessaloniki, just outside of the city, and it is the point where one the area’s streams reaches the sea. The landscape is flat and it offers wide views of the sea and the city. To the north, one encounters a rather typical exo-urban highway landscape, with large department stores, parking areas etc. The building program calls for a hotel unit of around 30 rooms, a restaurant with adequate kitchen space and a small spa station with swimming pool. The spatial requirements are relatively small, compared to the size of the plot, leaving the rest of the space to accommodate vehicle movement and parking, some sports facilities and the integration between building and landscape. The main goal of our design was precisely this integration with the natural elements of the site, most of all water, in its two forms (stream, sea). On the first basic choices in our design was to leave the coastline zone open as a public promenade, and to assign a more introverted quality to the stream. Therfore, the hotel rooms unit is situated further inside the site, along the north side of the stream looking

south, as to enjoy a better sense of privacy. The rest of the building units, having a more collective, semi-public, character, turn towards the sea. The spa station stands on the other side off the stream, autonomous but connected to the hotel. This connection is materialized via a long linear pedestrian pathway, which begins at the entrance of the site and ends at its east end, forming a small dock. At the core of the whole synthesis, the part from the hotel up until the spa unti, it is covered by a wooden canopy. The pathway and the canopy form the backbone of the whole synthesis, a strong linear element, temporarily enlarged when it meets a building volume. In the second phase of the studio, we detailed the design further, solving material and construction issues. Our main choice was to try to avoid concrete wherever possible, especially in those sections that are very close to water, such as the rooms. Instead we opted for lightweight construction with steel and wood.


annual architectural design studio group project, with: winter semester supervisors: AUTh Department of Architecture Periklis Kyriakidis 2008/2009 G. Zoidis C. Connena ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN







sketch of entrance area to the hotel and restaurant volumes

model, view of the stream and with the room

section, hotel lobby connection to the rooms area /1:50

sketch, section perpendicular to the stream

m terraces on the left /1:500


Construction detail section room terraces (south wall) /1:20

sketch, sunshades system construction detail, floor/glass door



Sit or Strip transformable sitting module

The assignment for this short course was to design and construct an 1:1 prototype for a “seat that is more than a seat� - that is, a module that can be used for sitting but also easily transformable for at least one more use. Our project was a cubic stool that could be disassembled into three corner pieces, which can then be fitted vertically to create a small and light partition. The cube is made up from six panels, each of which is a square wooden frame covered with a grid of leather cloth strips. The panels are paired in right-angle corner pieces, which fit into one another with the help of small wooden connectors.


short-term industrial design course “living design: sitz!� group project, with: winter semester supervisors: RWTH Department of Architecture Emeline Gayerie 2010/2011 A. Karthaus T. Klauser ASSORTED PROJECTS



presentation flyer




Void Network generative design

As starting point for this studio, a picture of a mechanical or natural structure is given to each team. The first assignment is reproduction o this image as digital 3d model. Afterwards, the requirement is to formulate a structured procedure, simulating an algorithm, based on the same principles as the original input, and to use it to transform the original structure into an architectural object. The scale and/or function are to be determined later, in the final phase. In our case, we suggest the final object as an urban sculpture.


secondary studio “cad and digital representations” group project, with: winter semester supervisors: AUTh Department of Architecture Peni Michailidou 2011/2012 S. Vergopoulos D. Gourdoukis S. Duque ASSORTED PROJECTS



Initial image and 3d model


Transformation concept

initial area +points

diviision of area (voronoi)

skeleton + surfaces

submersion of selected points of skeleton

determination of filled vs. void sections

angular > curved


final object


architecture portfolio '14