Greek Parliament Office Space – Conference . Elevations & Interiors: Amalias 22-24 in Central Athens 1999-2004
New elevations & new interiors constrained by existing 20 year old concrete structure needing reinforcement.
Offices for the Greek Parliament, Amalias avenue 22-24, Rallou-Manou square & Psylla street
opposite major Byzantine church of Sotera of Lycodemos (‘Russian‘ church)
In a most prominent location on a square and major artery next to Constitution square and the Parliament building, facing antiquities, the national garden and the major Byzantine monument, the Sotera of Lycodemos (or ‘Russian’ church), this is an office-conference building with three exposed elevations, commissioned after successfully gaining first prize in an architectural competition where more than 70 architectural firms had originally applied.
The classical built surroundings, and most critically the Byzantine church and bell-tower, in conjunction with the narrow third elevation of the present building facing the monument, prescribed the successful design proposal, presenting a ‘campanile-like’ third narrow elevation towards the church complex. The design of the ‘campanile’ is repeated consistently at the extremities of both main elevations, thus distinguishing a central dynamic orthogonal part on the two main elevations, with an innovatively designed central entry complex on each elevation, conceptually crowned with eight ‘masonry obelisks’ protruding from the building. The sixth floor of the building in recess, is appropriately finished as a further crowing element. The additional iron pergola and glass-convertible enclosed winter café on the roof was commissioned later before the end of the project, under exceptional regulations applicable to the Greek Parliament, and complements the design in a discrete fashion.
Classical in concept and quite modern and simple in detailing, achieving desirable sculptural variety and depth despite the constraints of the existing concrete structure which could not be touched, with finishing materials from lightly polished masonry cladding in the most sophisticated fashion with the required standardization and prefabrication of exceptional components, that well integrate in the immediate environment of classical edifices and monuments.
Flexible office interiors with band raster false ceilings matching precisely the same 60cm-10cm pattern prescribed on the marble floors, utilizing Greek marbles of appropriate uniform appearance and quality. Conference spaces on the Amalias avenue wing, a specially designed additional external egress stair in the internal court and two additional basement stories of storage and installation spaces were also lit and ventilated from the internal court. The project was completed on a very tight budget due to regulations. A detailed lighting study was commissioned for the same building several years later.