Sauerbruch Hutton with Gustafson Porter + Bowman and Elena Stavropoulou win the international competition for the ConfEx Park in Thessaloniki

ConfEx Park

The new ConfEx Park, at the heart of Thessaloniki, embodies the city’s ambition to be the region’s major business and tourist destination, linking the past with the future. It will shape an urban area to host international events while offering local meeting spots for the residents.

The design picks up major routes that fan out from the ancient city, and reintroduces them for pedestrians and cyclists: The ‘Culture Path’ links the Exhibition Halls and Congress Centre to the MMCA and the Archaeological and Byzantine Museums.

The ‘Mountain Route’ emphasizes the relationship between mountain, sea, University, ConfEx Park and wider city. The freestanding buildings for exhibitions and congresses are embedded in the flowing space of the new public park, which seamlessly transitions into open-air exhibition areas.

With generously overhanging roofs, floating like clouds above the landscape, the built ensemble is recognizable from afar. The foyers are designed like pavilions attached to the big halls and serve as cultural and social venues especially during intermediate phases of exhibition conversions.

Echoing the size of the existing cultural buildings, these pavilions reconcile the scale of the exhibition halls with that of the surrounding city. On the first floor level, a walkway in the sky connects the pavilions and invites to take a stroll with a view over the rooftops.

With flexible exhibition halls and a fairground regenerated into a verdant nexus, ConfEx Park will be a beacon of technical and social sustainability for residents and visitors alike. Source and images Courtesy of Sauerbruch Hutton.

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