Office Complex in Athens
The office complex is built in a 12-acre city block that includes one more building designed by the same architects in 2010.
The new building was granted the international LEED certification for environmentally sustainable buildings at the highest level -Platinum- by the US Green Building Council – USGBC.
Two main features of the plot designated the building’s placement: first, the axis of Paradisou Str., which is an important vehicle access in the area; second, the request for leaving intact, as much as possible, the lush garden surrounding the existing building.
Therefore, the optimal choice was to design a linear volume aligned with Paradisou Str., that would be adequately visible for passers-by and visitors, it would act as barrier between heavy traffic and the core of the development and, finally, would secure the preservation of the garden and maximize the relation between new and old buildings with the landscaping.
The new building develops in four levels. The ground floor accommodates all common spaces: Reception, conference rooms, multi-purpose room, and offices for customer service. The two consecutive floors house the main company offices and the last one, at a recess, is dedicated to administration.
A ground floor building, freely located in the garden in-between the two main wings, becomes the staff restaurant and recreation area and it is perceived as a meeting point to be appropriated by old and new tenants of the complex. It is linked to the two main buildings by a light, linear canopy, becoming thus the nodal point.
The underground parking, with a capacity of 300 vehicles, develops in three levels, with access from Aigialias Str. and exit on Artemidos. The uppermost level houses storage and mechanical equipment and the other two are parking space. The new janitor’s cabin is on Artemidos, overlooking pedestrian access and visitors making use of the short-term open parking.
The architectural design is informed by the character of the existing building, to create an integrated whole. In this spirit, the facades are clad with large expanses of glass that maximize natural lighting. Automatically rotating louvers control the solar exposure to optimize lighting conditions without excessive artificial ventilation.
The new building is dominated by horizontality, as the old one. Cantilevers clad in the same natural stone as the existing building, organize the expansive facades in front of the main office spaces; the same treatment is repeated at the uppermost, administration level, with a fixed surface of aluminum in its natural color. The interior palette creates a restrained, austere luxury, whose main interest results from shifting transparency and reflection on the surfaces; the only playful elements are the perforated panels dressing the roofs and the divides at the common room.
All the roofs of the underground parking space are planted, to restitute continuity in the garden. Concurrently, most roofs of the new building and staff recreation pavilion are also planted, for insulation, optimized microclimate and aesthetic performance of the “fifth façade”.