In the Greek city of Thessaloniki, water is a common means of transportation for the public. The Thessaloniki Water Transport system is a set of four piers that serve as pick-up and drop-off points for the ferries. Recently, Giannikis SHOP has proposed a design for each pavilion that will enable each dock to be entirely self-sufficient, as well as incorporating a bizarre water drop aesthetic.
The most prominent, important, and weird feature of the docks is the giant water-like orb that hovers above the docks. At first glance, they appear to be made out of glass or metal, but they are actually inflated balloons made out of BoPET, some kind of super-high-tech polyester film. These ballons are elevated on steel poles, providing shade for the public while giving it unobstructed access to sunlight. Solar energy filters into the orb and collects there, which is then converted into energy to power the facilities of the docks.
Additionally, the docks have funnels designed to collect and store rainwater. This water, combined with the stored solar energy, allows each of the Thessaloniki transportation facilities to be entirely self-sufficient.
These docks will undoubtedly get a lot of intention due to their bizarre design. The BoPET orbs look that way out of necessity, but an interesting coincidence is that they look like giant drops of water or mercury. It’s a fitting design considering that the docks are associated with water, but it still doesn’t make them look any less weird. I wonder how reflective the surface of these BoPET orbs will be, and if they will blind people whenever the sun strikes it a certain angle. Does anybody else find it a bit counterproductive to use a reflective substance as a material for a structure that’s supposed to provide shade?