The project concerns a building complex consisting of a big scale Shopping Mall along with residential and office buildings, with a total build area of 440.000 sqm underground spaces and 580.000 sqm over the ground spaces. It is located in a plot area of approximately 78.000 sqm, in the north-west side of Erbil in Iraq – one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world – just one kilometer away from city’s airport.
The proposal is based on a City in the City concept. Mall’s articulation with Residential and Office uses, gives the whole premise a dynamic and lively character. The intention is to create an architectural context that will develop into a tempting integrated urban destination for the whole province. Shopping, leisure, relaxing, all visitors’ needs satisfied in a commercial and entertainment Center that will combine high-class services with exquisite recreation and will attract both tourists and permanent city habitants.
The shopping Mall, a linear crest emerging from the ground, like a dominant “citadel” creating a delicate basis on which multi-storey buildings are rising up. Office volume is formed like a geometrically minimal solid form and articulated in horizontal shapes that sketch a calm background in front of which Residence towers twist like upright glowing prisms in different colors. The whole complex is set up like a tectonic synthesis that is articulated like precious stones – Erbil’s Jewels – floating to the sky.
Inside the Mall, main public corridor is formed like a River Oasis, a rapture in the fabric of nature, a challenge to discover the amazing, blending nature and tradition with contemporary aesthetics, offering the visitor a whole new experience.
Mall buildings facades and main features are articulated as a combination between solid and transparent, folded in a delicate metal “lace”, inspired by the shapes created from tree shadows in the woods.
Nature, Water and Sky Light are the main inspirational elements used to quilt building’s indoor and outdoor public spaces.
A raised Plaza on Mall’s roof is the main open square, creating the impression of a “corniche”, a leisure promenade that attracts visitors and modulates the “peak” through this new retail experience, giving the impression that nature is “climbing” over the whole premise. This Plaza offers the city a leisure place for all climatic conditions, with areas completely open and others that can convert from outdoor to indoor.
This sequence of hanging gardens promotes nature’s image in long distances away from the building, acting together with glowing gem Towers, as an insignia for the whole district.
The building complex that houses the services of the Prefecture of Thessaloniki includes office spaces, extending in four levels, ground floor shops, two basements with 307 parking spaces and auxiliary spaces. The complex includes also three listed buildings with public uses.
The concept idea for the volume organization of the new building complex is the creation of two main axis-walkways, vertical one another.
An additional defining element for the façades’ organization is the requirement for “an accurate and effective sun protection of the building” according to the competition specifications.
The sun protection of the South West elevation is achieved by the construction of a second skin, at small distance from the basic elevation, consisting of movable horizontal and vertical metal louvers.
For the same reason, in the North West and South East elevations, a second skin is also constructed consisting of ceramic elements (solid in front of the solid parts of the elevations and perforated-louvered in front of the openings).
This treatment implements the basic aesthetic principle for a clear distinction between the «old» and the «new», at all levels. The elevations acting as the background for the landmarks, from 26 Oktovriou and Kefallinias streets, are totally neutral and completely different, without any competitive, supplementary or relevant aesthetic elements. Additionally, the ceramic skins for North West and South East elevations were selected in order to mark and implement the functional, integrating and aesthetic axis of the important monuments (FIX, GAS COMPANY, MYLOS) through a unified ceramic texture, which characterizes the three monuments.
The project concerns the Design of Villaggio Hotel, a five-star hotel, located at Doha, Qatar. The total hotel room capacity is 213 guestrooms comprising of 132 standard rooms, 40 executive rooms, 10 junior suites, 20 one-bedroom suites, 10 two-bedroom suites and one presidential suite. The total built up area of the Hotel is 50.635 sq. m.
The hotel extends at 8 levels. Basement including 300 parking spaces, ground floor including the entrance lobby, cafes, restaurants, ballrooms and other common facilities, a partial service mezzanine, a second mezzanine including club lounge, specialty restaurant, gym-spa and certain guestrooms with private gardens, 3 main floors with guestrooms and a rooftop restaurant. Guestroom floors are organized in two wings, parallel to the main roads in the north-west end of the site. At mezzanine level an extended terrace is provided including a swimming pool with pool bar, restaurant’s outdoor spaces and planted areas.
The building has two public entrances: a main entrance for the Hotel (west façade) and a ballroom entrance (east façade). Both entrances include sheltered spaces in front of them. A third service – staff entrance is provided with loading bay, which is optically isolated through a special peristyle formation.
The main lobby of the hotel constitutes a tall double height space, which unifies the various levels giving grandeur and luxury to the building. Additionally all guestroom floors are unified through openings created at floor slabs. The formed vertical spaces (atriums) are covered by glazed roofs bringing natural light inside the building. The main lobby is directly connected to the adjacent Villaggio Mall.
The building is served at all levels by a central vertical communication core with 6 main lifts and three service cores, each of which includes 2 lifts (for clean – soiled materials/waste) and an attached escape staircase. There is no interference between FOH and BOH circulation.
The basement garage is accessed by two separate ramps, one for entrance (east side) and one for exit (west side). The parking layout is suitable for parking either by valets or by self-parking.
Landscape design includes sheltered drop off areas in front of the two entrances, reflected pools, parking spaces and planted areas.
The morphology of the building has references to the Renaissance period, according to client’s requirement. Facades’ configuration follows the typical division ‘base-stem-head’. Balconies and windows follow a symmetrical and repetitive arrangement. Façades are enriched with many decorative elements such as arcades, pilasters, columns, capitals, lintels, cornices, balustrades, statues and other ornamental features of the period. Decoration is heavier at the ‘base’ and gets lighter at the ‘stem’ of the building. The ‘head’-third floor appears as a mansard roof with dormer windows. A grand dome at the corner of the building signifies the importance of the building and emphasizes its monumental character.
Internal public space design follows the same style of the façades, highlighted by elaborated decorative features (curtains, rugs, special furniture, chandeliers etc.). The big atrium connecting the lobby with the guestroom floors carries a façade relevant to the exterior thus connecting perceptually inside with the outside.
Mezzanine terrace is enclosed by an arcade which is the continuity of the relevant decorative element of the façade, providing privacy to the area. A similar arcade with glass windows acts as a screen that divides the public terrace from the private guestroom gardens, isolating public from private use. The isolation is enhanced by dense planting on both sides of the screen.
The proposal aims at providing the hotel with a strong identity that will make it the focal point of the district.
This project concerns the rearrangement and the restoration of the installations of the industrial company. METE SYSM S.A. was assigned to redesign the internal circulation around the buildings, the design and location of the new entrance gate at the site, the design of four new buildings (offices and laboratories for the personnel and the production control) as well as the renewal and the extension of three existing buildings.
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.