One of Greece’s largest shopping malls is created in the plains of Messogea, in the middle of vineyards, wheat fields and olive groves. The mall’s common areas must be landscaped in a way that is striking but also simple and inexpensive.
The landscape strategy developed divides the project into three zones. The perimeter zone is landscaped using the vegetation of the surrounding agricultural and natural areas: olive, carob, pine and other trees dot the facades, while the extensive grounds are inexpensively and ecologically planted with aromatic xerophytic plants, wild grasses, and cultivated wheat fields. The internal zone is where the action is: large shade trees such as mulberries and Judas provide for the feel of a park and for climate control. Deciduous and evergreen trees are placed in rows so that there is shade in the summer, sunlight in winter, and always green above. A small botanical garden teaches children about the local plant communities, just as the neighbouring zoo teaches them about animals. A playful water feature animates the space and drives the kids bananas. But that’s not all: like half-submerged whales, huge “eggs” covered in lawn weave through the space and pull you in their direction.
Half of the paved areas are finished in an inexpensive and beautiful exposed aggregate concrete, a durable material with a natural feel. The other half are finished in stabilized soil, which allows the earth to breathe, water to percolate to the aquifer, tree roots to grow freely, and people to walk on the earth.