Giannis Giannoutsos
Architect ∙ Visual Artist





1st Prize in the Panhellenic architectural design competition


The first thought when the architectural competition for the redevelopment of the "heart" of Heraklion city was announced referred to a strong memory: to our visit to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion a decade ago, where I was moved by the statuette of the "Goddess of the Snakes" (1600 BC.). The idea for the composition of the space, from the very beginning of the design process, arises from the costume of the figurine, the structures, the colors and the materials of which come from the island of Crete and somehow the “whole world is included in within”.


The intervention concerns the core and the wider eastern public space of the city of Heraklion which is close to the Venetian walls with a total area of 53.000,00 m2. This refers to the redevelopment of Eleftherias Square and its connection with Daskalogiannis, Archaeological Museum and N. Kazantzakis squares, as well as the redevelopment of Doukos Bofor Street, part of Democratias Street, and Ikaros Street, central routes that link the wider area of the eastern entrance with the historic city center.


Multiple amphitheatrical spaces are created around a spatial scene with specific spatial characteristics:


The materiality of the public space which as an inspiration arises from the dress of the “Snake Goddess”, is enriched with all the materials from Crete. By proposing this unified city surface the aim is to connect the wider area of the intervention.


A 'city seating area' is created around the Venetian Walls and becomes a landmark of the area, emphasizing the view of the whole area and the harbor.

The four squares communicate dynamically as a network while they keep their specific spatial, structural, and functional characteristics. At the core of Eleftherias Square is a free dynamic space is proposed as well as more introvert square-like spaces are formed that host public functions.

At the area where the squares meet the city buildings, a wooden light structure is proposed to create a shaded space where all the ground floor commercial/recreational functions are hosted.


The idea for tree planting is to fully preserve and enrich the existing planting of Eleftherias Square to create a network of green spaces that tends to integrate with the neighboring Georgiades Park. This will create a wider pedestrian route that links the city in every direction, with the central square and the Venetian Wall zone at its core.

- Traffic regulations are made towards controlled mobility. Traffic mobility rearrangements in accordance with the reconfiguration of the terrain aim to give the impression of a continuity of the public space and contribute to pedestrian accessibility (structural and visual connection),

- Regarding the improvement of bioclimatic behavior, the aim is to achieve a sense of thermal comfort through air temperature control, air intensity control, appropriate tree planting with suitable species and an appropriate choice of materiality.

- The proposed electromechanical installations are based on a zero-energy footprint by using renewable energy sources.



Panhellenic Architectural Design Competition by: Municipality of Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Competition name: “Bioclimatic regeneration of Eleftheria Square and the wider area of ​​the eastern entrance to the historic center of the city”


Architect: Giannis Giannoutsos



Consultant - digital modeling process: Maria Eirini, Konstantinidi Manesi

Consultant - 3D visualization process: Ilias Georgakopoulos

Traffic Consultants: Zoi Christoforou, Maria Giannoulaki, Thanos Vlastos

Consultant - electromechanical study: Panagis Vovos

Consultant - environmental study: Alkiviadis Economidis

Consultant - Forestist: Kalliopi Radoglou

Consultant for Materials Technology: Dimitris Papazoglou

Consultant-Archaeologist: Ersi Lavari