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Change of use of Tanneries in Tampakaria

Change of use of Tanneries in Tampakaria

Tabakaria as a district of the leather processing industry was developed in the eastern rocky area of Chania, away from the city walls, before the middle of the 19th century. The first facility was created along the seaside of Vivilaki street and later (after 1920) the facilities expanded to the east (Agia Kyriaki). Today, some of the tanneries have been abandoned, others have changed use and some of them continue their operations. The only element which remained unaltered through time was their architecture. The two buildings we are interested in are located at 53 and 55, Vivilaki street and constitute a characteristic example of tanneries constructed before 1923. Our goal is to preserve and develop these two buildings and to change their use from tanneries to one office and two dwellings.

They are two-storey buildings with access to the first floor via the street and to the ground floor via the sea level. They are stone-built with tiled roofs and incorporate narrow, long openings. The works to be carried out are the minimum necessary in order to highlight and preserve the special character of these industrial buildings. The residents wish to turn Tabakaria into a pure residential area with promenades in relation to the historic part of Chalepa, with mild uses, offices and cultural activities. It is in this spirit that we change the use of the large tannery to a dwelling and that of the small tannery to an architect office in combination with a cultural multipurpose centre. At the same time, outdoor landscaping shall serve the needs of the building as well as residents and visitors alike. Special attention is given to the movements and the connections between indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as to the descaling of the urban lay out towards the area’s sea front.

Materials used shall be carefully chosen permitting both buildings to remain totally integrated in the industrial character of the area. Through mild uses and interventions on the shells of the tanneries, our goal is to promote the area and to exploit it as grounds for cultural events and strolls for city dwellers.