An office – commercial building complex on Vournazou & Tsoha streets, Athens, eventually housing the Court of Audit of the Hellenic Republic.  1993-1996

A closed architectural competition won by the most advantageous proposal for both garage and office space layout, offering a proposal which maximized spaces to be offered for sale, while compatible with the multiple legal restrictions. The office-commercial use initially prescribed, was later altered when the whole set of three interconnected buildings through a safe private court was utilized by the  same organization, the Court of Audit.

The main concept was a set of volumetrically meaningful buildings arranged around an orthogonal court and presenting three symmetrical elevations towards it. Each building could function independently, with double egress facilities meeting specifications as required. The total was approximately 10.000m2 of office-commercial space and 10.000m2 of parking space, a large parking facility according to Greek regulations with matching rigorous specifications, all neatly arranged within the large and quite irregular loosely pentagonal plot of c.2800m2.

Once the designer’s proposal was presented at the competition stage and selected for implementation, the owner increased the specifications for luxury, thus requesting a redesign of the elevations. This was performed twice until the finally implemented scheme for curtain-wall/solid construction had been completed.

 It is however unfortunate that once the contractor had been selected by the owner’s, the specifications for the elevations changed again, this time to a cheaper substitute and thus plaster replaced the marble/granite veneer that had been specifically requested by the owners after the competition stage had been completed and the volumetric proposal had been accepted.  The final stages of communications between developer and the designers and implementation of changes mandated in the later stages of elevation design, took place in  close cooperation with  the seasoned architect A.S. Calligas.

Both the early winning competition stage and the final implementation of the elevations are presented. Note that the ‘inconvenient’ shape of the plot and the requirement for meaningful volumes and orderly symmetrical elevations along the central court determined the innovative winning volumetric solution. Hellenic legislation determines permissible height and volume of buildings in accordance with width of each street and various other factors, while maximization of buildable areas for use and sale was a paramount criterion for selection of any proposal by the owners.

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