Shop & Trade / Kokkinou-Kourkoulas Architects

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Architects: Kokkinou-Kourkoulas Architects
Location: Pireos 222, Moschato Tavros 177 78,
Architect In Charge: Maria Kokkinou and Andreas Kourkoulas
Associate Architect: Marianna Athanasiadou
Project Team : Eleni Papanastasiou, George Iliadis, Despoina Lafazani, Marianna Lizardou, Eleni Papanastasiou
Consultant Associates: Artemis Halari, George Nikopoulos
Consultant Architect: John Peponis
Area: 10000.0 sqm
Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of Kokkinou-Kourkoulas Architects

Structural Engineer: T. Tsiknias & Associates
Landscape Architect: Helli Pagalou
Mechanical Engineer: LDK – Consultant Engineers & Planners LTD
Acoustics Consultant: Thodoris Timagenis
Lighting Consultant: Thanassis Kanelias
Energy Consultant: Aris Tsangrassoulis, Vasilis Geros
Management Consultant: Dimand

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The mixed-use complex for Shop and Trade, a company for clothing imports and distribution, is located on Pireos Street, the historic road that connects the City of Athens with the port of Piraeus. Since the end of the 19th century, the surrounding areas have been dominated by industrial uses and warehouses. In the last ten years, brown field redevelopment, the construction of museums and the reuse of the old gas factory as a cultural center have revitalized the area, reasserting the historic significance of the Street. The site of Shop and Trade is surrounded by distinct urban morphologies and scales: subsidized modernist housing estates, industrial areas and traditional urban blocks. The complex was designed to mediate and redefine their relationship.

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The property is surrounded by streets on three sides. The L-shaped four-storey office volume is placed along the back street and the boundary with the adjacent property, thus providing the backdrop for a roof garden over the single storey retail podium. By opening up towards Pireos Street at the intersection with Kydonion Street the garden contributes to the quality of public space while at the same time providing a visual focus and an environmental buffer for the offices. The set-back also endows the interior with panoramic views.

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The garden slopes towards Smyrnis Street at the back, under the main office volume, suggesting perceptual continuity of public and private open space while at the same time demarcating a boundary between the retail podium and the entrance floor of the main offices and showrooms. The distinct treatment of front and back elevations expresses the relationship between the industrial character of Smyrnis Street and the emerging identity of Pireos Street.

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The structure and all external wall surfaces are of exposed concrete. The choice of material is aimed at providing a sense of timelessness. More important, the treatment of raw building materials as final finishes projects a discipline of design and construction. Detailing expresses the logical hierarchy of design decisions and the articulation of the distinct layers of the building envelop. The front facades are visually continuous woven surfaces which also serve as screens. The vertically curved elevation of the main building is rendered as a curtain that expresses the flow of energy and breezes across the site. Thus, it becomes the memorable image of transverse spatial openness. The garden is planted with trees, indigenous grasses and herbs that require minimum maintenance and irrigation and mark the seasons through their scents and changing colors.

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Internal partitions along the length of the main block are glazed; thus, the perceptual boundaries and the character of interiors are defined by the external envelop. Transverse partitions, aligned to building structure, are opaque in order to assist the definition of organizational and departmental units. The proportions of the secondary wing allow the interior to function well as an open plan oriented towards the garden.

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The complex is approximately 10,000 square meters with an additional 9,000 square meters of underground parking to serve office employees and retail clients. Environmental performance is enhanced by the combination of geothermal systems, an atrium at the center of the main office wing, and automatic B.M.S. coordination of the openings. Main office entrances are situated on Pireos Street (for the narrow wing) and Kydonion Street (for the main block). Service entrances are provided along the side and back streets. Construction was completed in June 2010.

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Cite: "Shop & Trade / Kokkinou-Kourkoulas Architects" 14 Jan 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=317741>

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