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.

Airport Towers

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.

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.

Prefecture Services

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.

Building Complex

The project concerns a three office buildings complex of a total area of 3.500 sq.m. The complex has been constructed on a 2.200 sq. m. corner, flat and rectangular plot, south of Thermi. The south orientation and the geothermal potential of the region were the starting points of investigating energy efficiency, aiming to offer the best energy performance inside a conventional construction budget.
The concept idea is to unify the three parts into a single complex with compact volume and strong presence in the, under formation, urban fabric (tertiary sector facilities).
The complex consists of three parts, functionally distinct with independent access. Avoiding the disturbances of the environment, the three parts are arranged in contact and inward, parallel to the plot sides and around a large central core – atrium – also with independent access. The volume organization is of great importance, since the complex orientation and the atrium arrangement provide, on one hand, organizing conditions (area for circulation, distribution, social interaction) and on the other, natural lighting and ventilation.
A comprehensive study has been prepared and strategies for thermal and visual comfort, natural ventilation and cooling, reducing of losses, shading etc. were implemented.
In order to increase thermal inertia and create large thermal mass so as to achieve low temperature variations, a conventional construction (concrete and brick) has been selected. The development of a compact and long volume also allowed the setting of general and specific ratios, contributing to reduce heat losses.
The controlled area of the atrium, through the perception of biological time, the creation of favorable microclimate (planting, water element) and air circulation, contribute to ventilation – cooling and conditions of biological time response.
The use of materials with high energy consumption in production has been avoided, while “clean” building technologies have been preferred.
A special characteristic of the façades is the wood paneling in the north and south, a symbolic and functional element, incorporating shading devices, gutters, networks, buffer zones, wind protection devices and insulation. The use of industrial floors inside characterizes the building. These options, as well as the highly reflective roof material, express in finishes level, the architect’s proposal in order to achieve harmony among user requirements, function, thermal behavior and aesthetics.
The simulations performed with dedicated software, provide reduced consumption at least 60% to 75% compared with conventional office buildings – excluding the use of geothermy.
Supplementary to the Bioclimatic design, a detailed Energy study was elaborated. The optimization of efficiency focuses on two main consumption categories of the specific use (offices), lighting and heating/cooling.
In order to reduce heating/cooling energy the integration of a VRV system exploiting geothermal energy has been selected. Heat extractions is achieved through an open loop geothermal system, pump and discharge drilling and water-cooled geothermal heat pumps, using electricity only for heating/cooling spaces and exploiting the stable temperature of underground water. For lighting requirements, the main criteria were to meet specifications and standards (level, uniformity and glare) and saving by incorporating methods of control (dimming, presence detectors).
The results of simulation performed with dedicated software, provide electricity consumption decreased by 27.5% for heating/cooling and 30% for lighting.

TITAN Cement

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.

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.