On Pireos avenue the ancient route from the port of Pireaus to the heart of the city of Athens, a 10.000m² bare concrete structure houses a fashion business and its offices.
The design needed to respond to two fundamental urban necessities:
- To maximise the ratio of green space against built environment
- To develop a sustainable structure, with attention to environmental performance and economy on energy
The building is the result of the unification of two independent masses, a single storey mall that spans 1.300m² and an L-shaped five storey office block that surrounds the first and creates a boundary along the neighbouring structures with views towards Pireos Avenue. The roof of the ground floor store is planted with rich foliage to create an elevated garden open to staff and the city.
Personnel as a result have a view towards the garden and increased privacy, while they are protected from the noise of the busy road.
The ramps that lead up onto the green roof in combination with the geometry of the curved building, link the ground level office spaces with the public space above where citizens can enjoy the urban garden.
The architects took into consideration the structures’ orientation to create different shading systems (blinds, stainless steel lattices) on each side adapted in direct analogy to the sun’s movement and the building’s different responses to the sunlight as it travelled round. An independent study was conducted on each side in order to decrease the temperature of interior spaces respectively without, however, affecting the outward vista for personnel.
Underground cisterns that gather, store and re-cycle rain-water, water the raised garden with the use of automatic systems throughout the year. Their capacity is such so that during the summer months the garden can be sustained by......
Heat exchangers (i.e. large pipes that run deep under the foundations) bring fresh air from the auxiliary street behind.
A BMS (Building Management System) regulates the structure’s lighting, ventilation and temperature. With the purpose of optimising the interior environment a computer controls the windows and internal shading.
Essentially the betterment of work conditions also brought about economy of energy.
Design by: Maria Kokkinou, Andreas Kourkoulas
Photos by: George Fakaros