Quarry into Park, Efkarpia, Greece

We are turning the 50ha Efkarpia quarry north of Thessaloniki into a park, a landmark, and an ecological showcase. A quarry can be a very beautiful place.  The Efkarpia quarry has been in use since the 1950’s and is now closing down.  It leaves behind it sheer rock faces, mysterious ravines, plateaus, and even small wetlands.  TITAN S.A. has assigned doxiadis+ landscape architects the redesign of the quarry into a park, in collaboration with ECHMES environmental designers and a team of specialists. Our wish is to highlight the existing beauty of the place rather than changing it into a newtopia.  Our wish is also to get the most result for the budget, by using existing materials and forms to the degree possible. Reuse is a key strategy.  Local rubble is a key material.  It is laid out along the floor of a ravine to indicate safe passage through difficulty, it is arranged in mounds to make habitable landmarks on the otherwise plain plateaus, it is placed in gabions to create rhythm next to the highway. The main move is the creation of a stairway to heaven, a terraced connection between the low and highlands of the park.  Each step of this stairway will be planted with different species, different steps glowing with the different seasons. Natural process is brought to the foreground.  A small percentage of the total area is remade into carefully edited forms and events, while the rest of the space is left to continue its life of wet and dry cycles, erosion, and natural revegetation.