Vöö (The Belt) proposal by architects Harris Vamvakas & Linn Nagel received 3rd prize and 1st place in public voting at the architectural competition for Lihula town center rehabilitation in Estonia

text in EN, GR

Vöö (The Belt) proposal by Greek architect Harris Vamvakas and Estonian architect Linn Nagel received 3rd prize and 1st place in public voting at the architectural competition for Lihula town center rehabilitation that was held in Estonia on December 2019.

-text by the authors 

Lihula is a small town in mainland Estonia, but quite important in terms of location. It is just a few hundred meters away from the Tallinn-Saaremaa highway, probably the busiest route in Estonia especially during summer. Wanting to increase tourism in the area and revive the local business Lihula needs a strong but simple yet inviting and recognisable visual identity.

The main idea of our proposal is to enhance the existing elements of Lihula bringing back to light the interesting and peculiar character of this traditional estonian town. Starting from the prevailing characteristic of Lihula, which is no other but the main street crossing the whole town and alongside which all urban life takes place.

We suggest the creation of a strong red bike lane, a belt!, highlighting its linearity on the one hand while forming the cohesive element for all the public spaces of the town that will anchor on it. This is a simple yet effective solution to enrich the urban space for both locals and visitors.

Nextly, we redesign the main public squares bordering the belt while we also suggest the creation of a new one right at the commercial center of Lihula. 

All the squares are redesigned using the same design language yet respecting and adjusting to the local characteristics. Furthermore, the rehabilitation is made through simple and economic solutions (paving materials, modular units etc.) adapting to the limited budget of the small town. These squares are the Culture Square in front of the culture house, the Central Square in the center of the town and the Church Square at the southern edge of the town. Further than these three squares, some smaller interventions like paths and small squares are suggested around all the main landmarks of the town (Town Manor, Lutheran Church, Christmas Tree plaza). 

Rhombic red and gray paving stones are being suggested for paving all the main public spaces. These rhombic tiles form the traditional patterns of Lihula as spotted on the belts knitted here as part of the traditional Estonian Uniforms. The use of this special pattern constitutes one of the key design elements of our proposal and that is why it is named after it: The belt (Vöö in Estonian). The strong colours being used highlight the renewal of public spaces while referring to the long traditional knitting techniques that are so widespread in Estonia.

It is an effective way to both create the missing link between Lihula’s public spaces and to enhance the town’s identity in total.

Facts & Credits
Competition  Architectural competition for Lihula town center rehabilitation
Harris Vamvakas, Linn Nagel
Date  December 2019
Location  Lihula, Estonia 

Ο αρχιτέκτονας Χάρης Βαμβακάς και η Εσθονή αρχιτέκτονας Linn Nagel απέσπασαν, με την πρόταση Vöö (Η Ζώνη), το 3ο βραβείο καθώς και την πρώτη θέση στο ψήφισμα των κατοίκων στον αρχιτεκτονικό διαγωνισμό που εκπονήθηκε τον Δεκέμβριο του 2019 με θέμα την ανάπλαση του κεντρικού δρόμου της πόλης Λίχουλα στην Εσθονία.

-κείμενο από τους δημιουργούς 

Κύρια ιδέα της πρότασης, ήταν η ανάδειξη του χαρακτήρα της μικρής ιστορική πόλης μέσω της ενδυνάμωσης και του επαναπροσδιορισμού των υπαρχόντων στοιχείων και χαρακτηριστικών. Αυτό επιτυγχάνεται μέσω μιας σειράς απλών επεμβάσεων τόσο σε αστική κλίμακα όσο και σε επιμέρους αρχιτεκτονικά στοιχεία κατα μήκος της πόλης, οι οποίες συνδέονται πάντα με τον κύριο κεντρικό άξονα της πόλης (την ζώνη).  

Στοιχεία έργου
Διαγωνισμός  Αρχιτεκτονικός Διαγωνισμός για την ανάπλαση του κεντρικού δρόμου της πόλης Λίχουλα στην Εσθονία
Ομάδα  Χάρης Βαμβακάς, Linn Nagel
Ημερομηνία  Δεκέμβριος 2019
Τοποθεσία  Λίχουλα, Εσθονία

See, also, Harris Vamvakas’ diploma thesis entitled “SS Regeneration: A series of urban interventions in the seafront of Le Havre”, here!

Δείτε, ακόμα, την διπλωματική εργασία του Χάρη Βαμβακά με τίτλο “SS Regeneration: Μια σειρά αστικών επεμβάσεων στο παραλιακό μέτωπο της Χάβρης”, εδώ!