Excerpt: Re-Mining Giali: A new scenario for the manufactured landscape_Baths and a Power Production Facility is an Architecture Thesis by Dimitrios Mitsimponas from Department of Architecture – University of Thessaly, exploring the relation between recreational spaces and energy production infrastructure. The proposal provides an alternate scenario for Giali Island’s artificial landscape, which has been irreversibly transformed by mining with several detrimental social and environmental effects.
Introduction: The proposal provides an alternate scenario for Giali Island’s artificial landscape, which has been irreversibly transformed by mining with several detrimental social and environmental effects. It delves into how recreational amenities and energy production infrastructure are related in order to revive the mine while generating a new source of income for the neighbourhood.
The Greek volcanic island of Giali is home to one of the largest open-pit pumice mining in the world. Two companies are located at four distinct sites within the Natura 2000 Network and a protected natural area. The royalties that mining provides for the nearby island are the municipality of Nisyros’ main source of income.
Despite the fact that the excavations started in the 1950s and had a specific time frame, no development strategy for the island has been proposed. This monocultural economy poses a threat to Giali’s survival. The Nisyrians made the decision to stop further exploitation of nonrenewable minerals and to sustainably reclaim the mine in accordance with future climate goals.
The primary objective of the architecture thesis is to harness the geothermal energy of Giali through an architectural design that prioritises energy production and the bathing component. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source with numerous applications in a variety of industries. Geothermal energy is heat created deep beneath the earth.
The geothermal power plant produces adequate electricity for Nisyros while acting as a hub for heat. Its waste heat is immediately utilised at the bathing facilities, much like how many cultures employ geothermal sources for purification and relaxation. A hybrid that appeals to all the senses is created by cascading the zones in accordance with the required levels of heat and humidity.
The design explores how the industrial nature of the plant relates to the stimulating aura that the baths emit. It is in accordance with the “genius loci,” accentuating the special mood of the location. It also differs from the typical methods of mine reclamation, primarily in the placement of topsoil and replanting.
Three different design techniques are combined in this architecture thesis. The first is to involve the general public and the surrounding communities and teach them about energy production and consumption in the modern day as well as about mining and future land use through the design of the info point, power plant, and exhibition. The second one focuses on utilising Giali’s rains and clean, renewable energy resources to minimise energy and resource inputs. The third suggests renovating the region to add amenities for the general public for recreation, like power services, walking paths, and restrooms.
The thesis addresses the social responsibility of the architects and offers a sustainable strategy for the area’s development and self-sufficiency. Additionally, it brings attention to pressing issues with energy and environmental management. The methods have the potential to solve pressing problems and have a positive effect on the socioeconomic development of the area. A number of fresh initiatives concerning Giali, Nisyros, and other islands might result from the project.
[This Academic Project has been published with text submitted by the student]
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