The Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) has shortlisted four design firms for the major rehabilitation of the Athens Chancery project. Protected as an architectural landmark, the mid-century modern building was originally designed by the famed Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius with the consulting architect Pericles A. Sakellarios.
The shortlisted firms are:
The proposal, ‘Athens PubliCity: an urban neuron for a new city center’, for the Re-Think Athens competition organizes a public space processing system which develops and expands like an “urban neuron”. Designed by Nikiforidis-Cuomo Architects, their concept becomes an entire living framework aiming to re-activate and revitalize the urban body. The system acts as a familiar, habitable and dynamic framework able to “contain” events and situations of both collective and individual actions. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Re-Think Athens Competition Entry / Harry C. Bougadellis & Associate Architects + Georges Batzios + Martha Schwartz Partners
Designed by the collaborative team composed of Harry C. Bougadellis & Associate Architects, Georges Batzios, and Martha Schwartz Partners, their proposal for the Re-Think Athens competition, which was named as the 2nd runner up, is an urban landscape element which will characterize the entire center of Athens. Titled ‘Belvederes of Athens ‘, their design concept creates a high velocity urban corridor void of anchors or rest by structuring the street space into a series of terraces, expressive belvederes define individual urban spaces along this perpetual slope. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Re-Think Athens Competition Entry / Gianmaria Socci Architecture + Also Known As Architects + Alkistis Thomidou
A multidisciplinary, international team led by Alkistis Thomidou, Chryssa Komantou & George Anagnostakis of Also Known As Architects, and Gianmaria Socci won a special mention for the “Rethink Athens: towards a new city center” competition with a proposal based upon a new practice of citizenship, one that would physically reshape public space and let people regain control over their city. The proposal provides an intense linear space that will awaken hibernating potential for activities to shape the surrounding territory that will be unburdened of the existing restrictions to constitute a field enriched with traces of the city’s memories. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The main idea of ABM Arquitectos in their Re-Think Athens proposal, which was a finalist in the competition, is to join the two parks at the end of the intervention (Pedion Areos and Lotos Likavitou) with a green mass that will flow all along the intervention. By doing this, the architects hope to bringvback the greenery to an area that used to be a green zone in the outside of the old Athens walls and creating a green corridor that joins the old Athens with the new Athens. More images and architects’ description after the break.
OKRA, in collaboration with Mixst urbanism and Wageningen University, was recently announced as the winning team of the prestigious competition ReThink Athens towards a new city centre. Changing the heart of Athens into a true contemporary metropolitan city centre requires transformation of the city triangle into a lively part of the city. The project aims to strongly contribute to the change of Athens and improve the environment of the city plus activating the area economically. The team is supported by the Greek Architects of Studio 75 and Werner Sobek Green Technologies. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Conceived through a spatial inversion, the proposal for the new Antiquities Museum of Piraeus is an industrial typology that is reinvented as a cultural destination. Designed by PAR, in collaboration with ARUP, their interest lies not only in the complex program of the museum, but in the site’s unexploited urban potential as a civic link. Transformed into an iconic, world class museum, the building’s openness activates the Cultural Coast District. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Following the initial challenge of amplifying connectivity, adjustability and interaction for its Correlations cycle, AA Athens Visiting School scales up its design intentions in order to investigate links among discrete individual architectural systems in its 2013 version, Recharged.
Recharged with interconnectivity on different levels, the theme of investigation will revolve around the design of semi-independent design prototypes acting together to form elaborate unified results. The driving force in Cipher City: Recharged is the synergistic effect behind complex form-making systems where interactive design patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple rules.
Architects: Kokkinou-Kourkoulas Architects
Location: Athens, Greece
Architect In Charge: Maria Kokkinou, Andreas Kourkoulas
Collaborators: Artemis Halari, Eleni Theodorou, Stratos Vasileiou, George Nikopoulos, Tassos Ringas, Marianna Athanasiadou, Katerina Kourkoula
Structural Engineer: Andreas Mitsopoulos
Area: 1,600 sqm
Photographs: Erieta Attali, George Fakaros
With the challenge of creating a new landmark on a floating platform, the ‘U-Topos’ proposal for the Faliro pier competition proposes a constructed “place”, a new “Land-” and a new “-mark”. Designed by Ksestudio, in an attempt to optimize climatic conditions, views and generate events, while developing an iconic identity, their project bends the given square platform to a “U” shape. The design is essentially a shell, an empty vessel, that frames the view towards the city and the sea, while signifying a gate, as small boats are allowed to park at the perimeter of the platform. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Simos Vamvakidis Studio shared with is their proposal for the New Landmark for the Faliron Pier in Athens which won the 4th prize. This gesture of “hiding” program under the landscape, combined with other elements of the surrounding man-made and natural context, like the existing landmark / shell structures in the surrounding area, or the small wave breakers that will be formed close to the site, led them to the idea of creating a “hill”, or an island in the sea. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Greek pavilion for the 2012 Venice Biennale will focus on the particular dynamics of Athens during a period of economic meltdown by addressing the deterioration of Athenian urban space, plummeting standards of living, and the need to redefine the priorities of architectural design. Architects and creative groups have already begun to shape a new “common ground” within Athens. With the exhibition “Made in Athens”, the Greek pavilion aims highlight these positive forces emerging during this crucial present moment in an effort to foreshadow a better future for the city and its architecture.
Continue after the break to learn more about “Made in Athens”.