projects for Athens

Athens 1985
Office Complex and Commercial Centre

Index of ATHENA Projects


This project follows the same guidelines which charac-terise the New Agora, with a continuity in recovering the classical tradition. Such an effort must not be attributed only to the love for such a tradition ( although its influence is so powefull that the Renaissance as well as all the subsequent European civilisation were its creation), but to an understanding of the central role which the Neo-classic style had in Greece in the first half of the last century, when the country's national identity was restored after five centuries of Turkish domination. Athens was then founded anew, as capital of the new Greece, entirely planned and constructed in a rigorously neo-classic style. Such beautiful architecture had not been seen in this country since the days of ancient Greece, and unfortunately, has not been seen after! The fact is that, in the years following the war, a great deal of the '800 neo-classic structures were demolished in order to give way to more modern, anonymous commercial buildings. That is why it is so important today to develop a new awareness of the classical heritage of this country, instead of the current trend towards a vaguely international style. The Amaleion project is situated in the area where a park of see pine-trees grows near a college founded by Amalia, first queen of modern-day Greece. Not one tree has been cut down for this project. On the contrary, the use of reflecting surfaces on a large scale has intensified the visual image of the park. A square is to be found among the trees, surrounded by a series of porticos, with a temple in the center of the composition. A side-street, with porticos too on its sides, leads to a triumphal arch inspired to ancient Athens' Hadrian's Gate. Beside the square the project included an open-air theatre, which would have been the most original feature of the complex, obtained by means of the cavea-shaped roofing of a commercial centre.