Crystal Decoded


Diploma Thesis Project


Aristole's University of Thessaloniki / School of Architecture


Prof. Stavros Vergopoulos


Generative Architectural Design, Spatial Aggregation, Recursive Growth, Crystal Structures, Quarry Restoration


Winter 2010



Description: Crystal decoded is a project, whose objective is the rehabilitation of a quarry around the area of Imetus in Athens. A new way of approaching the quarried-technicalised landscape, along with a research on crystal structures were the ignition points of this diplom. Through the development of scripting (Rhinoscript) an attempt was made to simulate the crystal growth, the most basic process in the creation of a mineral, parametrized with architectural terms (program, construction limitations, orientation, views). Additionaly the crystal structure of a specific mineral (limestone in this case) was translated into the structural component.The final algorithm, based on the L-systems (Lindemayer systems), asks the user to choose the crystal structure and a series of site limitations. The result of the script was used as the basis for further manipulation of the project.
The proposal includes the creation of a suburban metropolitan parc, that expands on the three levels of the former quarry. The suggested uses are the following: offices of the forest rangers, parking, botanical garden, climbing centre, exhibition areas, area of alternative mountainous activities, skatepark. The uses are not thought as fixed but rather as something generic that could change along with mutations on the site (i.e. expansion of the quarry) and consequently the structure. A circulation system that yields from the evolution of the quarry ramps, connects the three levels and offers multile views and ways of experiencing the landscape.