MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Ioulia Voulgari (She/Her)

Hi, I am Ilia. During my studies I have been interested in public architecture and the restoration and adaptation of existing buildings. Apart from my studies at GSA, I have been on exchange at USI Mendrisio, Switzerland as well as the École Nationale d’Architecture de Versailles, France.  I have worked as an Architectural Assistant in Amsterdam at CIVIC Architects and in Luxembourg at Paul Bretz Architects. Outside of the academic journey, I have been interested in exploring new methods of learning and approaches towards architecture and have participated in a series of construction workshops and events such as EASA (European Architecture Student Assembly). My constant curiosity about the profession and its different learning contexts have led me to experience three very different architecture universities, and live in 6 different countries gaining valuable experiences from them all.

The thesis work was developed through my exchange in Mendrisio, Switzerland and Mackintosh School of Architecture, exploring the natural and urban phenomena of Lisbon’s harbour.


Hydroscape: celebrating urban water and its processes
Lisbon Urban Park: exchange project

Hydroscape: celebrating urban water and its processes

Lisbon is characterised by the river Tagus, watercourses, basins and underground water flows. Its topography, the seven hills along with their valleys play an important role to its character. Its coastline has been shaped and re-shaped over the years. Managing, collecting and using the existing water sources of the city efficiently becomes crucial.

The architectural thesis, sitting at the bottom of one of the valleys – where underground water flow meets the river – explores the local phenomena of water in the area conceiving them as a natural machine of flows. One part focuses on the water system and treatment and the other one on the urban face of Lisbon. Following a collect – treat – enjoy approach, water from the valley is collected in basins, treated in mechanical and wetlands treatment and used by the public bath house and pools as well as irrigation for the landscape surrounding it. The proposal is an exploration of how such infrastructure can be incorporated into Lisbon’s dense urban fabric while creating a new public space reclaiming their harbour and river Tagus.

How can the most evident limit, the water, can act as a future tool for climate change, a binder, a natural link and public space for Lisbon? The aim is to change and reformulate the local urban relationship with water in a territorial as well as human scale.

The thesis project was developed through my exchange in Mendrisio, Switzerland and Mackintosh School of Architecture.

Lisbon Urban Park: exchange project

Atelier Carrilho da Graca,  proposes the theme of a linear park between the city and the river Tagus on the platform of Lisbon’s port. Through an analysis of Lisbon’s extraordinary landscape that characterises the morphology and urban development of Lisbon and the Tagus  river, the aim is to recover the reciprocal relationship between these two entities, which is currently interrupted by the massive presence of the railway and road lines in the Lisbon metropolitan area.The railway, the infrastructural axis linking the centre of the Portuguese capital to the neighbourhoods is imagined to be withdrawn.The project is looking at how the harbour can regain its public and recreational identity while bringing attention to important issues of urban social living, in accordance with existing natural elements, without overestimating their importance.

Three main themes from Lisbon inform the project: the different levels of the city, the contrast between old and new and the miradouros (terraced view points). The proposal  focuses on the strong topography of the city and explores how existing miradouros can be linked to the proposed park, as well as how new ones can be created within it, continuing the layered topography of the city towards the river Tejo.