The “Koum-Kapi” (meaning“Gate of Sand”) is the only Venetian gate of the walled city of Chania that remains intact. It took its name from the sandy beach that lies next to the gate. Once deserted and desolate, Koum Kapi is currently one of the most vibrant places of the city. Numerous cafes, scattered all along the coastal area, pedestrians, bicyclists, swimmers and heavy traffic congestion resembles the daily routine of this district. In 2013, the municipality of Chania held an architectural completion, asking for the redesign and redevelopment of the area.
The idea of this project consists of two distinct axes. The main axis relates to the history of the area, while the other concerns the relation of city with the sea. Particularly, the circular plan of the straw huts that used to occupy the area became the source of inspiration for the circular pattern of the masterplan. On the other hand, in order to enhance the current relation between the city and the sea, the coastline was sharpened. Namely, in the western part of the area, the coastline was extended towards the sea, creating a “proper” public space, while on the on the eastern part, the coastline recedes against the city, providing adequate space for the beach.
Chania, Crete, Greece