PIRAEUS TOWER 2010 - CHANGING THE FACE / FACADES REFORMATION
Location: Piraeus, Greece
Area: 29.000 sq.m.
T. Bristoyanni, A. Kokkini and M. Tzafeta
The architectural approach of the “tower” typology in Greece is ambiguous. This is due to the fact that high-rise buildings are disproportionally related to the extensive urban fabric of five-story multi-residence blocks also known as polykatikia.
In Greece, a high-rise building is far from being a “skyscraper”. Nevertheless it is often perceived as such, within the Greek built environment. For that reason, high-rise buildings in hellenic cities have a dual substance, compared to respective typologies of similar buildings abroad. They are “skyscrapers” and “high-rise buildings” at the same time.
In fact, however, they comprise a building typology, which is still at its infancy, since it is not yet defined, given the complexity of the Greek urban fabric.
The lack of a wide range of reference buildings in Greece might appear to be a disadvantage, due to the limitations of local knowledge over the topic. However, this fact allows for a more experimental and unconfined approach in architectural design of towers in the country, a fact which could only be considered as an advantage.
According to the main design principles, the tower should act as an icon having a dynamic form, visible –day and night- from the sea, as ships enter the port, as well as from various spots of the city of Piraeus.
Ôhe proposed design was considered from the beginning that it should be realistic, feasible and impressive, opposing in its own right digital design extremities.
The concept was based on the creation of a distinctive architectural form. Its materials integrate and reflect the city, the sky and the sea, while at the same time stand out in a discrete way. In order to realize the above, white colored surfaces and glass were selected for the building’s facades.
The proposed architectural study could be summarized in the following four main principles, related to: (a) the symbolic form of the building (b) the unification of its volumes (c) the relation of the tower with the ground and the scale of surrounding streets and finally (d) its environmental behavior. All the above principles were combined into a unified design proposal, which would also allow these principles to be complementary to one another.
Finally, the above principles were also combined in such a way, as to serve the various functions of the building, which are shown analytically in the thematic section and the plans. Apart from the functions described in the competition brief, relating to the creation of office spaces, restaurants and a shopping center, a luxury hotel is also proposed to be placed on the top floors.