Alexandros Spentzaris, Giorgos Chatzopoulos
How can we reimagine the image of the Athenian buildings?
Could we think of new structures that can be sustainable and contemporary?
The Athenian built environment which was at large built during the past century now calls for a reconsideration of it’s structural, architectural and technological specifications. The international style which was largely adopted by the office buildings during the sixties seems, in retrospect, to be uncompliant with the blazing Athenian sun.
In the heart of the city center, at Mitropoleos street, the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship features five floors and a penthouse-like meeting room on the top of the building. The building hosts office spaces, meeting rooms and breakout spaces for the employees. The original building- erected during the sixties, features large, north-facing glass surfaces exposing the interior to the merciless Mediterranean sunlight. Sixty years after it’s opening, the building gets redesigned, adopts a new sun-protecting façade and its interior gets remodeled.
Our proposal extends the building structure to the exterior. The latent structural grid becomes three-dimensional and acquires depth. The façade’s function is double – it showcases the trajectory of the sun both internally and in the exterior. Internally the sunlight gets filtered through the shutters, letting through a generous yet gradient quality of light. In the exterior, the reflectivity of the metal structure responds to the distinctive natural light conditions, offering diverse views of the building throughout the day. The remodeled meeting room – now transferred to the top of the building is housed under a new, lightweight steel slab. The board enjoys generous views of the Acropolis while large sliding windowpanes offer unobstructed access to the view. On the back-facing northern side, an elevated Mediterranean garden surrounds the meeting space.