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An urban green design approach by Utopia landscapes

Utopia landscapes was commissioned to design a group of spaces called ‘Pigon Square’, the central square of the rural town of Skala in the south of Greece. In Greek, the name ‘Pigon’ means springs, and indeed the site is located on natural water springs. Hence, although semi-urban, this is also quite a sensitive freshwater ecosystem.

The primary aim of the design was to protect this delicate ecosystem, while also transforming the site into a destination, a locale capable of catering for the day-to-day needs of the local community and of attracting visitors. A parallel aim was to integrate the square sub-spaces into a unified whole.

A green design approach was followed in an effort to protect and restore the natural and water systems. The focus was not only on fully managing stormwater runoff but also on creating and integrating pedestrian spaces into a coherent whole. The design also makes cultural references to the square’s environmental heritage.

Inner plaza green structures have been designed to continuously delay and purify discharged water in a visually enchanting way, turning the water flow into a sequence of events, a ‘cinegram’. The flowing water successfully links together all other elements, i.e. the greenscape, the hardscape structures and the individual ‘Pigon’ place parts to a vibrant whole.