Rehabilitation of Eleftheria Square

The magnificent Byzantine mosaics pulsing in time and space, and the consideration of the city’s formation as a huge mosaic was the inspiration for the concept of our proposal. We borrowed the compositional structure of Byzantine mosaics to organize the space of Eleftheria Square. We created a spatial grid covering the whole study area, a deformed in three dimensions grid caused by “tensions” due to the “dynamic” elements of the region. The design shapes the square as part of the broader city mosaic.
A review of all targets set by the tender competition led to the hierarchy and evaluation of priorities in relation to the program data. They led us to a series of decisions that characterize our proposal, which are briefly:
The extension of the area of the square until the building facades of the surrounding streets, keeping a low traffic. In that way the square is integrated to the urban fabric serving mainly the pedestrians.
The creation of an urban park, a combination of a square and park without strict demarcations. All elements (movements and stands, planting, shelters and seating, lighting and other street furniture, water features and themed gardens) are carefully placed as larger or smaller units – inlays in the mosaic – in places defined by the axes, except the violent gap that reveals the findings of the old sea wall, connecting the city’s past with the present. The formations extend, penetrate the surrounding streets and end up in the sea, as a complex platform immersed in the water. The diversity of forms, shapes and materials create a sense of “disorientation” and spiritual tranquility.
The use of a repetitive element that highlights our proposal. A simple triangular pattern, inspired by the recent victims of Nazi brutality appears in almost the entire area of the square. Clusters of such repetitive triangular patterns seem to emerge from the ground or penetrate it. They create gaps or lead the bright rays of the sun, they sparkle on the shelters or even surge into the sea.
The incorporation of several elements and systems aiming at improving the comfort conditions of the users as well as enhancing energy savings
The urban furniture acts supplementary and contributes to the aesthetic and functional integration of the architectural design of the square. All elements share a common morphological logic adapting suitably to each type. These include sitting benches, special lighting fixtures, bollards, bicycle parking, liter bins, electronic boards and bus stops.
Landscape design is an important part of the architectural design in regard to the reformation of Eleftheria Square. The proposed interventions involve four main actions with the aim not only to reshape but also to preserve the current state of landscape vegetation in the square. These include: management of existing trees, planting of new trees or other vegetation, either used for shading purposes or for covering the ground (such as broadleaved trees, herbs, small shrubs, aromatic plants and lawn-covered areas), installation of an irrigation system, depending on the irrigation needs of the plant species, as well as on the optimal water saving requirements, and conservation of the landscape.
The plant species will be chosen in terms of the phytosociological, morphological/aesthetical, climatic and other practical conditions. In particular, the plant species were chosen based on their characteristics, as being part of the Hellenic Flora (in majority), as well as being resistant to the particularities of the area (urban area with air pollution, in close vicinity to the sea).
Electromechanical installations concern mainly lighting, irrigation and concentration of rain water for watering of plants.
Lighting plays a significant role in the design of the square. The chosen luminaires further highlight the grid as they are placed at the intersections of the various elements of the “mosaic”. A new and modern lighting is provided according to CEN 1320, supported by lighting control system for the maximum energy conservation. Furthermore a software is used for the best performance of lighting in the following three sectors: pedestrian areas lighting, green areas lighting and architectural lighting identifying important landmarks.

Anatolia Pinewood

Our proposal aims at satisfying all requirements and specifications set by the tender, and at the same time provide a contemporary and innovative building complex, which will meet all functional, technological and aesthetic needs of an educational building. The main issues set at the top of our architectural agenda, was how to smoothly incorporate the new building in the Historical complex of ANATOLIA COLLEGE and how to create a friendly shell for an International School like PINEWOOD.
Design concept
Present architectural proposal aims to attribute the vision of α building complex to a distant horizon, whose roof outlines the SKY LINE, in a bid to create a new community of culture and education. Already used in the existing traditional buildings, the archetype of “house with a sloped roof” element and its multiple random combinations refers to the timeless image of multicultural community.
The new building, as a friendly shell, but also as an extroverted enclave of life, in constant interaction with its surroundings, is enriched in the ground floor level, with the element of an intermediate connecting space, a CULTURAL HUB, merging the new building with its attached open space and offering a transitional area that can host students everyday life, along with special cultural and leisure school activities, as an open and dynamic communication meeting point.
Architectural design
The building consists of ground floor level with two floors on top of it, plus a small basement area for auxiliary uses.
The allocation of the various uses in different levels is described below: Basement: Parking, MEP areas. Ground floor: 4 Classrooms, Gym-Multi Functional area, Theatre Lab, Art Lab, Admission’s Office, Infirmary and WC. 1st floor: 6 Classrooms, Elective Courses Classrooms, Flexible Learning area, Teacher’s Office and WC. 2nd floor: Biology & Chemistry Labs, Administration Offices, Student Support areas and WC.
The building is served by two staircases and one lift.
Basic material used for the building facades are stone, timber and aluminum panels, while both building and landscape areas are designed on a bioclimatic basis, in order to achieve the best possible sustainability performance and consume the less possible energy, while thermal and visual comfort is offered to its users.

Archaeological Museum

The NAMS design proposal responds to the principles set by the promoter and satisfies all the objectives set out in the call for proposals.

The building develops following the urban, local-national character of the National Road along which its eastern boundary extends, and its internal central mood to preserve and highlight the local findings.

At the same time, it needs to be seduced by ancient Sparta, but also by the Modern City. To dominate the entrance of the city with a continuous welcome, to invite, to embrace the visitor in the heart of its past.

Morphologically, the building can be read as a volume formation of archetypal structures: the body that carries the STOA, its elongated part leading to the AGORA close to the city, the conversation of the 2 buildings (old and new) forming the ATRIUM. The use of exposed concrete in the elements of the body is intensified by the form of the dense columns, while the choice of U-shaped glass alternating with vertical glass louvres gives a lighter, yet distinct facade in the new building.

The general organization of the uses turns the visitors’ areas towards the interior of the plot, near the archaeological site, and places the offices, workshops, storages to the east, towards the highway. The new building is connected with the existing one, through the entrance area at ground floor level, and through the ending of the Museum Exhibition at first floor level, providing an exit to the outside for a tour in the archeological findings.

The two buildings function as one, with the new one hosting the reception areas, the temporary exhibition and most of the permanent exhibition, and with the existing hosting multi-purpose and educational halls, the shop, the cafe, the exhibition of former factory HYMOFIX.

The design principles of the building and the immediate surroundings complies with the basic objective of bioclimatic architecture, which is summarized in securing a “high quality” acceptable indoor climatic conditions while reducing energy consumption.

The central idea of ​​forming the exhibition space is based on the key words “intersections” and “refractions”, describing spatially the meaning of the museological themes.

According to the above, the exhibition areas are developed on the basis of specific crossing paths and refraction areas. Lighting, which ranges from bright to dark and vice versa, contributes to the desired exhibition atmosphere, enhancing the experience, depending on the content.

Anatolia Elementary School

The tender competition announcement concerns the construction of the New Elementary School “Anatolia” in Pylaia, Thessaloniki.
The site of the school is located at Vas. Sevenidi street, in Pylaia, Thessaloniki and has a total area of 21.378,38 sq.m. At its eastern boundary there is a demarcated stream, while the north west area is occupied by a pinewood of a total area of 4.497,20 sq. m.
The school (first three grades) is currently housed in two existing buildings, one three storey building, consisting of sub-basement, ground floor and first floor, built in 1996, with a total area of approx. 1380 sq. m and one ground floor building, built in 1992, with a total area of approx. 185 sq. m. Both buildings have been renovated in 2010 to cover the needs of the current school. According to the tender the three storey building will be renovated and incorporated in the new complex, while the ground floor one will be demolished.
The new elementary school, in its full development, will consist of 24 classrooms.
The concept idea is the organization of the various functions in three different groups / sections, with different design approach. A new two storey building, housing common uses and administration, is developed along the eastern boundary, combines with the existing building, housing all special classrooms, and forms a compact elongate element, which delimiters the complex, and creates the background of the architectural composition.
On the contrary the typical classrooms are combined to form six individual units scattered among the environment.
In fact, the general idea is the transition from a typical school wing (classrooms – corridor – classrooms) to a loose layout by splitting, separating, turning, and dispersing units into the landscape.
Classrooms are organized around small green courtyards creating an intimate and personal space, consistent with the nature of its users. Classrooms are open to the surrounding allowing students to experience the green environment as an integral part of the learning process.
The proposed child-centered layout creates a quality learning environment, suitable for educating the younger generation.
All units and separate buildings are connected by canopies or semi covered areas, forming an extensive network of intermediate – transitional public spaces and providing sheltered connection between all buildings.
The main material proposed is wood (pergolas, canopies, external cladding, classrooms internal cladding). The screen that becomes a canopy, the same also becomes a balustrade, creating a unifying element and key feature of the complex.
Scattered volumes are coated with acrylic plaster of different colors, giving to the complex a more colorful image. Another key feature of the complex’s facades is the creation of certain openings highlighted by special colored frames, thus creating diversity, and further enhancing the colorful image.

School of Arts

The design proposal and space organization of the building complex responds to the principles set by the promoter and satisfies all the objectives set out in the call for proposals, such as the highlighting of the importance of the building, its integration with the environment, its connection with the existing buildings, the adequacy of the internal arrangement and the modern aesthetic approach.
The concept design of the complex aims at the creation of an intrusive building that develops around a central patio, but at the same time is open to existing buildings to which it is connected through a sheltered outdoor path. This enables on one hand, the creation of an enclosed, protected outdoor space – a focal / meeting point for the outdoor functions and on the other, the arrangement of the various uses into three distinct morphological units – wings, depending on the program requirements.
The complex is covered by a grid of roofs, alternating in size, orientation and slopes, allowing the natural lighting of the upper rooms. The volume configuration combined with the facades’ formation and the diversity of roofs emphasizes the complexity of the building making it the focal point / landmark of the area.
As already mentioned, the complex is developed around a central patio, and comprises of two floors, a loft and a basement. Generally, the educational areas are located in the east and north wing for better orientation, while the common areas, staff and administration areas are located in the west and south wing. At ground floor level there is a semi-covered space through which the entrance to the building and the communication of the surrounding space with the inner patio are implemented. In the basement of the building there are 20 parking spaces, MEP areas and storages.
The facades and the different morphological approach enhance the concept idea of the three volume-configuration units. The complex is “wrapped” around and on its roofs with a second skin / shell consisting of either concrete panels at ground level, or zinc linear elements at floor level and roofs. On the east and west sides of the west wing of the building, vertical sun protection louvres are provided.
The building complex is designed in accordance with the bioclimatic principles, to ensure the best possible sustainability and consume the least possible energy, while providing thermal and visual comfort to its users.
The landscape design generally follows the characteristics of the concept idea. The surrounding area enters the inner patio and extends to the existing buildings as well as to the east side of the plot.
The pattern of floors, green areas and surrounding elements follow the concept idea of split roofs but are differentiated as they rotate at an angle of 45 degrees, creating greater tension in the relation of open and closed spaces. The new building is connected to the existing one by a canopy integrated in the diagonal grid, with aesthetically similar covering to the new building.

Overpass Bridge T17

For the construction of the subsection I/C-Axios – end of I/C Agios Athanasios of the road axis P.A.TH.E., final studies for a large number of technical works were prepared. In the context of the whole project, METE SYSM prepared the final study of the overpass bridge T17 from CH. 0+579,65 to CH. 0+868,27 of branch No 2 at I/C-Axios.
The one branched overpass bridge is configured by a continuous superstructure with eight spans (total lengh 289,0m on the bridge axis) made of cast in-situ prestressed concrete. The bridge is to be constructed in 7 stages starting from the eastern abutment with construction joints at 20% of every span.
In plan, the bridge horizontal alignment is on a circular arc with a radius of 290m, while the red line is also on a vertical arc with a radius of 4.500m, at a height ranging between 8,0 and 14,0m from the natural terrain. The piers which have clear heights ranging between 9,0 and 11,0m, have a single-column configuration and a cross section of a regular octagon inscribed in a circle with 2,0m diameter and are founded on pile caps. The superstructure is monolithically connected to the 5 central piers M2 to M6, resting on bearings at the outermost piers M1 & M7 as well as at the abutments, forming a case of semi-integral bridge with satisfactory behavior for both vertical as well as horizontal loads, with expansion joints only at the abutments and with reasonable displacements.
The cross section of the girder is single box-shaped with a height of 2,3m, a total width of 11,25m (upper flange) with a 6% transverse inclination, carrying one-way traffic of the second branch of the Interchange, with 2 traffic & 1 emergency lane and sidewalks on both edges. Safety barriers, street lighting poles, insulation of the deck with a special membrane and drainage of the deck with longitudinal and vertical drainage pipes are also provided.

Papafi Cultural Center

Our proposal aims at satisfying all requirements and specifications set by the tender, and at the same time provide a contemporary and innovative building complex, which will meet all functional, technological and aesthetic needs of today and will become a landmark in the area.

Design concept

The design concept starts from a compact building volume, which breaks up, then separates, then is displaced, then bends due to the interaction with the urban fabric, resulting in the penetration of the urban space inside the plot and among the two volumes. The breakup and bending of volumes causes also the “breakage” of the ceramic shell inside, alternating the linearity of the shell with vertical panels and glazing.

The building is “offered” to the inhabitants through the creation of free public spaces, squares, sitting areas, green areas and various additional activities developed around it. The planted roofs replace the old ceramic roof of the existing building, which remains as a reminder in the choice of shell material.

Architectural design

The complex consists of two elongated bended buildings: K1, a four-storey building and K2, a three-storey building. The complex includes also two basements, the first with a parking area of 83 slots and the second with technical and auxiliary spaces. The complex is served by four main cores of vertical communication. The allocation of the various uses in the two buildings is described below: Building K1, Ground floor: Day Care Center for the Elderly, Citizen Service Center and Guest House; 1st floor: Community Medical center and Guest House; 2nd floor: Municipal Library; 3rd floor and mezzanine: Municipal Gym. Building K2, Ground floor: Nursery and Memory Space-Archive; 1st floor: Nursery; 2nd floor: Offices of fourth Community and Associations and Multipurpose Hall. An outdoor cinema is located on the terrace of building K2. The two buildings are connected through an elevated bridge and a grid of external corridors/balconies and staircases.

The volume organization of the complex reflects the general concept. The complex is “wrapped” around by a second skin/shell consisting of linear ceramic elements, alternating in solid or perforated zones according to the needs of lighting and visual isolation. This solid shell is interrupted on the inside facades and replaced by a vertical curtain wall consisting of solid and glass panels.

The building complex is designed following the bioclimatic principles in order to achieve the best possible sustainability performance and consume the less possible energy, while thermal and visual comfort is offered to its users.

Landscape design

Landscape design is related also to the general concept. Public space penetrates the complex, creating triangle squares. Hard and soft scape interconnect resulting in a mosaic of materials and colors. Proposed materials match the ones of the building that is ceramic flooring and concrete in different textures.

Anatolia IB College

The tender competition announcement concerns the extension and upgrading of the premises currently housing the Baccalaureate (I.B.) course. This includes buildings Compton and Ladas.
Compton is a mid 30s stone building.
Ladas is a mid 60s concrete building of T shape, consisting of two wings, initially built to house students dormitories.
The basic concept of our proposal aims at satisfying all conditions and requirements set by the tender, and at the same time provide a contemporary educational building , which will meet all functional, technological and aesthetic needs of today.
This is a difficult but interesting challenge, because it creates the idea of composing contrasts in many levels such as the old and the new – the past and the future, traditional methods and contemporary trends, conventional mentality and the need of innovation, educational systems and sociable culture.
Contradiction becomes – through the environment – the direction (path) to sustainability.
Our goal is to organize the various uses and functions taking into consideration the available space and the restrictions of the existing structure as well as functionality and monitoring, familiarity and effectiveness of the environment.
Compton is a massive, introvert, simple-form stone structure, which is restored to its initial form.
On the opposite side the new building follows a lightweight and elegant type.
A transparent, extrovert, geometrical glass structure that brings the outdoor environment inside, and – at the same time – exports its unique identity in the immediate vicinity.
A composite shell covers the outline of the building.

Second World War Museum

A vessel, an ark, a shelter, or maybe a missile, or even a gigantic bomb breaks into pieces and deforms after a violent attack, an assault, an explosion …
It is a rapture in the fabric of history, a tragedy …
Among the fragments a new, open, transparent, outward looking construction regenerates the total environment. It is the recovery, the reestablishment of History.
It is the future.
A modern museum is no longer conceived only as an institution for storage of memories and display of knowledge. Furthermore it is no longer just a building in the city.
A modern museum is a civic status or a national symbol and it enlivens city life. Although it was initially conceived of as a resting place for valuable objects, historic representations and different artifacts, it has turned into an “agora” to animate the best impulses of the citizenry by functioning as a space that caters to the urban experiences.
There are three basic program areas: Exhibitions, the agora and the open space.
That is why the building is broken up into three parts: the old vessel, the new construction, and the void between the broken parts.
Exhibitions are located in the old broken vessel. This is the past. Agora breaks and dissolves the vessel, extends and enlarges its limits into the urban space becoming progressively an important part of it. A 40 meter high observation tower, a landmark of the new era is located by the main entrance. Agora is the journey to the future through the past.
The void between parts operates as an orientation and connection space, giving entries from both directions along the main axis. The void becomes a flexible and multiuse element (instrument) that unifies the surrounding environment which functions at the present time.

Cooperative Central Bank

The design is based on the concept of the crossroads. Making a cross-reading of its symbolic connotations, we aim at a spatial interpretation of this concept in the resulting architectural form.
The Competition objectives along with the Founding and Development Note of the Cooperative Central Bank and in conjunction with the distinct geographical location of Nicosia set goals and aspirations coming from different routes; therefore in our mind the building should mark the intersection and convergence of all these guidelines. We discern many layers of crossroads; East and West, economic and social policies, multicultural influences and contributions, collaborative and individual activities. Our ambition is that the Bank’s New Headquarters express the common point of all these different directions, and that it symbolizes the value of coexistence in conditions of diversity and heterogeneity.
The surrounding area is already in the process of forming a distinct character with the development of similar buildings and uses. Along the main road axis of Athalassis Avenue we encounter various Banking Services as well as many other Public and private Entities. Our goal is to create a landmark that will be (established as) a symbol of the existing trend. The volume of the building complex, the exploitation of the maximum height allowed, as well as the use of simple yet fluid geometries and plain materials increase the clarity of its image.
Basic synthesis principles are: the division of the Headquarters Services into two separate volumes parallel to the East-West axis, the formation of an interconnection zone facilitating the throughout flow of people in-between. Entrances are carved on all four sides, creating continuous passages of different density and volume. These independent accesses ensure the unimpeded functioning of the different parts of the building complex, while at the same time implement the crossroads that both unites and separates them.
The high rise volume overlooking the Avenue houses the Administrative and Operational Departments of the Bank, while the lower one houses the Congress Centre and Restauration Services. The Office Tower is more extroverted overlooking the main road and the city, while the latter looks to the public landscaped area and pedestrian street at the back. Between the two, lies the connective space which accommodates the social life of the complex, the assembly and meeting areas of visitors and employees alike. This buffer zone is covered by a diaphanous roof, allowing the natural light to enter from above, emphasizing the sensation of legerity and fluidity created by the various internal voids and freestanding staircases.