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Old January 6th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #1
gm2263
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PIRAEUS | Architectural Competition for the Facade Reconstruction of the Incomplete Piraeus Tower





Foreword: (World Forums)

As it is very well known to most of the members of the International Community Here, Piraeus is the port of Athens (related in the same way as Tokyo and Yokohama).

It is also probably known to almost all that for a number of reasons (analyzed HERE, in the principal thread about Athens Skyscrapers and Highrises) Athens and Piraeus don't have skyscrapers (with the exception of the Athens Tower which only marginally passes the lowest limit for a building to gain the title of a skyscraper with a height of 103m and 28 habitable floors.

Few however know that the second tallest building in the Athens-Piraeus metro area, the infamous Piraeus Tower, remains incomplete for over 35 years. The reasons for this are unclear and there have been many reports and alleged reasons attributed to this, including engineering errors, or simply, bureaucracy and jurisdictional conflicts as to whom the authority for the completion of the tower belongs, including the owners of the first three of floors which are the only ones in use, the Piraeus Port Authority and the Municipality of Piraeus.

In his context, after several weeks of forced silence by the members of greekarchitects.gr not to disclose anything on the details until I received the “go ahead”, I am very happy to announce the opening of the architectural competition regarding the Tower of Piraeus.

As most of the Greek forumers already know, the particular building, is an empty 25-storey, 84m-tall shell overlooking for over three decades the main port of Piraeus. As said before, for quite some time, I was aware of the intentions of the organizers of the that is, the GreekArchitects.gr people to try to instigate some interest as to the fate of this gigantic empty shell that haunts the cityscape of Piraeus and occupies precious unusable real estate space that could otherwise have been used in a more efficient manner.

Furthermore, what may be to the interest of an international contender is the challenge to create a proposal for a new tall building which will be completed in an urban environment that does not have any serious experience in dealing with height or better put, the vertical dimension of architecture.

How can this new building type be introduced and to what extent, novelties in design and visual aesthetics be explored? What may be the input of an international contender who, without being immersed to the local prevailing normative circumstances as to what constitutes an appropriate measure for the size and dimensions of a building, will attempt to rejuvenate an empty urban shell and give it new form for a city in need for transition?

Below two texts are included, that is, the announcement for the architectural competition as well as the article on the main Greekarchitects.gr site regarding the characteristics of the building. This article was co-authored by myself and Alexios Vandoros who is a practicing architect and member of the architects.gr team who also did all substantial research at the Municipality of Piraeus, the Hellenic Techical Chamber (TEE), as well as many on-site inspections, and other contacts with public and private institutions directly or indirectly involved to the building’s construction, utilization and exploitation in the past or present time.

Overall though, I wish to publicly express my appreciation to the efforts of all involved in the project, in the hope that it will pave new directions in terms of the overall architectural discourse in Greece and that it will constitute the first step towards the completion of this tower and the long awaited introduction of the "third dimension" in the Modern Greek architecture.

Well done guys, and I am proud to have helped the little bit I did for you. Time to go higher.

Architecture that reaches for the skies is the product of visionary minds.


______________________________________________________

I. The Competition


Piraeus Tower 2010 – Changing the Face/Fašades Reformation

For further details and expression of Interest to participate:

-Please Click HERE to access the Competition's main Website in English
-Please Click HERE to access the Competition's main Website in Greek


ANNOUNCEMENT

GreekArchitects.gr and DuPont Hellas S.A have proudly launched an open architectural ideas competition entitled: “Piraeus Tower 2010 – Changing the Face/Fašades Reformation”

The initiative of our architectural ideas competitions is the localization of urban issues at vital points of Greek cities and the attempt to resolve them through Architecture, presenting to the citizens and State the real proportion of Architecture in the real urban space.

For all the above, a Tall Building at the port of Piraeus that is abandoned for more than 30 years was located. It is a 22-storey building, 84 m. tall and it is known as “Piraeus Tower”. The only tower of the area is “sleeping” in one of the bigger ports of the Mediterranean that presents a dynamic growth at the last decades.

The main issue of the competition is not the completion of another high rise building, whose completion is pending for years. The problematic exceeds the narrow limits of the dialectic regarding the construction or not of high rise buildings and skyscrapers in Greek cities and particularly in Athens.

The competition is focused only at the reconstruction of the external fašade of the building in order to set off a synectic and clear position regarding the conversation of the Tower with the Piraeus urban landscape and how this new “facade” takes part in and partially forms the relation between the Port, as an important entrance and exit point of the capital, and the urban complex of Athens.

There is no material restriction in each proposal- any material can be used. The only requirement is the use of at least one material of DuPont Company.

The objective pursued through the competition Piraeus Tower 2010: Changing the face. Fašades reformation is to include the building in the urban landscape through the design proposal and to highlight it as the landmark for the wider area.

GreekArchitects.gr and DuPont Hellas S.A. would like to welcome all the participants and wish you good luck.


Organization: GreekArchitects.gr

Director:

Vassilis Mistriotis, Architect


The competition Steering Committee:

Alexios Vandoros, Architect, Chief Editor & Press Representative of the competition;

Manolis Anastasakis, Architect, Organisation Head of the Competition;

Santra Kalliagra, Architect, Assistant Chief Editor;

Maria Papadimitriou, Architect, Assistant Editing Director;

Simos Gerasimidis, Civil Engineer.





II. Piraeus Tower - The Sleeping Giant
by Alexios Vandoros (SSC Username: VandoTeam) and Gregory Maloukos (SSC Username: gm2263) - 2009-12-16

First Published in Greek Architects.gr Tall Buildings Section
Click HERE to access the article in English in greekarchitects.gr
Click HERE to access the same article in Greek in greekarchitects.gr


Standing on the Acropolis, once upon a time an architect is rumored to have said, looking towards the sea of concrete, which is the trademark of modern Athens:
“This city always struck me as a continuous work-in-project”, meaning that the city seems to be nearing the completion of a stage in its development and being close to a leap to the next level, something which never comes, always being postponed.

Very few buildings epitomize the essence of this statement with such intense symbolism more than the incomplete Tower of Piraeus also known as “Piraeus Tower”, or “Piraeus Trade Center”. The latter was a name tagged to it in a stunning analogy to its role, which was envisioned at the time of construction to be the same for the port of Piraeus with the role of its twin, ill-fated, much larger counterparts that were destroyed on the port of New York in the events of September 11, 2001…


Far view of the Tower as seen from the Profitis Ilias Hill
(C) gm2263 -2002


As fate would have it, many decades after groundbreaking, the 25-storey tower (84meters height) still remains a grandiose urban carcass that haunts the skyline of the port of Piraeus. There, in the bustling port, thousands and thousands of commercial ships come and go in a clockwork fashion under the silent presence of the incomplete giant, an image which truly justifies the title of an unfinished “work in progress”. An image that clicks in the mind as a silent invitation to (re-)act against the prospect of such a gigantic perpetuated degradation.

Event Chronology

The reasons for what seems to be the perfect urban stagnation tale, which is stunning even for those familiar with the so-called “Greek reality” starts during the years of the military dictatorship (1967-1974). At that time (1968), and under a new law, namely the “Development Law Α.Ν. 395/68 on the Heights of Buildings and Free Construction", construction permits for a few dozens of tall buildings were given (12-28 habitable floors), something that for the lovers of the “Attica Landscape” was and still is “an act of sacrilege” and utter disrespect for the monument of the Acropolis which dominates the historic landscape of the city of Athens.

On the other hand, the construction of the Tower of Piraeus was the result of a political decision that was taken during the same period and after Athens had already built its first (and to many, the only real) skyscraper, the Athens Tower (28 fl, height 103m). The rationale for its construction was related to the desire of the then political regime to provide Piraeus with a landmark icon of economic and urban development and enhance its image as a shipping business and commercial center, as well as to solidify the status of the officers of the then regime as reformers of the Greek political and economic system.

In addition to all the above, the Piraeus Tower may have been perceived as the opposite pole to the Athens Tower, reflecting the relationship between Athens and Piraeus, a fact that may be corroborated by the similar morphology and architectural style of both buildings (International Style).


The "Sleeping Giant"
(C) Alexios Vandoros and GreekArchitects.gr


Project Team:

Architects: I. Vikelas, G. Molfesis, A. Loizos

Civil Engineer: A. Oikonomou

In short, the timeline of the most significant events in the life of this building up to the time of this writing are as follows:

-1972 to 1974: Preliminary works and topping out of the frame of the building (Mayor: Mr Skylitsis). During those works, a historic landmark building in the area with a clock on its top is demolished as part of the renovation planning. When the frame is completed, it has 25 floors above the ground level, stands 84m tall and is clearly visible from all parts of the port.

-1983: Cladding of the external surfaces of the building with glass (Mayor: Mr Papaspyrou)

-Late 1980s to present: The three first floors of the building accommodate various uses including a high school, an electronics superstore and public and state authorities. No floors above that level were ever occupied. Various rumors about the static capacity and stability of the building appear in the press and become the object of concern of mainly the city’s society despite the denials coming from the technical world and other official bodies and public authorities.

-1997-1998: Competition for the design and construction with a contractor by the municipality of Piraeus which did was not completed (Mayor: Mr. Logothetis)


General view of the Tower
(C) Alexions Vandoros and Greek Architects.gr

- 2001-2: International public ‘allocation to the lowest bidder’ competition by the municipality of Peiraius (Planning – construction – completion of the Peiraus Tower with the system that includes exchange / operational compromise).

The competition was won by the company ‘AVAX’, but was never completed. (Mayor Agrapidis)

Today: The structural body of the building is completed. The ground floor stores and the first two floors have been constructed and are in function. The claddings of the external surfaces of the building and the insulation of the second’s floor rooftop have been completed. The separate stores that are in use have their own EMP installations.
Since then, the status of the building has not changed despite the good wishes of various parties to assist in its completion. What is surprising is that even the 2004 Summer Olympic games have not been a sufficient cause to mobilize the completion of the building, despite the fact that the port of Piraeus was filled with docked cruise ships, many used as floating hotel facilities at the time.

Note: Some of the basic problems of the building, which were spotted by the municipality of Peiraius and were set at the prescriptions of the past competitions, are the approach to the Tower and the car parking. Initially the building provided very narrow parking area. This fact is aversive for its utilization, since the offered office spaces cannot be served and terrible problems will be generated at this already overloaded area. The adjacency with the terminal train and subway station is a positive element at this direction.

At this point, the direct connection of the possible placement of high rise buildings at the urban habitat with the essence of sufficient public transportation and general access to the buildings, must be underlined. The high rise buildings must not be faced as autonomous building units, rather than as a part of the wider urban habitat. This way high rise buildings can give a solution to the enhancing impasses of the urbanization, rather than making them worse.

Proprietary: According to the proclamation of the competition by the municipality of Peiraius the building is a property of the municipality of Peiraius, except from a ground floor store (334,80 s.m.).

Plot: the plot where the building has been constructed is 3840,30 s.m. at the roads Akti Poseidonos, Dimosthenous, Tsamadou, Ippokratous, Makras Stoas, Anonymos.

Coordinates: 37░56'41"N 23░38'38"E


View from the top of the Tower looking towards the Aghia Triada Church and the Profitis Ilias Hill
(C) Alexios Vandoros and greekarchitects.gr


Technical characteristics of the building

Building plan:

a. Two basements.
b. The narrow volume – ground floor shops, Α' and Β' floor.
c. The high volume – 3rd to 22nd floor
d. The terrace

The areas of the surfaces mentioned above are:

Α. Existing Building
Basement B: 1386 m▓
Basement A: 2125 m▓
Ground Floor: 2125 m▓
Α' and Β' floor: 3147 m▓ each one
Typical Floor: (3rd – 22nd): 1034 m▓ (besides the 20th)
20th floor: 648 m▓
Terrace: 154 m▓
The volume of the building is 91,942 m│

The initial uses of the building were:

1. Basement B: Engine Room
2. Basement A: Garage for the property owners
3. Ground Floor: Stores - Shops
4. Α' and Β' floor: Stores - Shops
5. 3rd floor: Coffee Shop
6. 19th and part of the 20th: Lecture Hall
7. 20th and 21st floor: Restaurant
8. 22nd: EMP facilities
9. Rest of the floors: public services and private offices


View of the inside of the Tower
(C) Alexios Vandoros and greekarchitects.gr

Geometrical Characteristics of the building:

1.1.1. Characteristics of the building.
1.1.2. Building Dimensions
2.1. Maximum exterior dimensions (including 58 χ 54 m of sidewalks)
2.2. Exterior dimensions (a' and b' floors), plot area: 3.147 m▓
2.3. Typical floor plan: 1.034 m▓
2.4. Typical height: 85.02m
2.5. Building height: 84.00m
2.6. Building height without terrace: 80.20 m

1.1.3. Typical Floor characteristics
3.1. Typical Floor dimensions, plot area: 25 χ 40 = 1.034 m▓
3.2. Height of typical floor: 3,26 m.

1.1.4. A’ and B’ floor characteristics
4.1. Α' and Β' floor: 3.147 m▓
4.2. A’, Β'and C’ height: 4.10 m

1.1.5. Basements’ characteristics
5.1. Basement B’ plot area: 1.386.14 m▓
5.2. Basement A’ plot area: 2.124.94 m▓
5.3. Basement A’ Height: 3.00 m
5.4. Basement B’ Height: 4.30 m
5.5. Basement C’ Height:: 5.50 m

1.1.6. Other Characteristics
6.1. Terrace Dimensions: 11.5 χ 36 m
6.2. Mezzanine Height: 3.50 m., plot area.: 2.125 m▓
6.3. Ground Floor height: 3.50 m

In Conclusion…

To many, the prolonged existence of the incomplete tower is yet another proof of the embarrassment from various parties, including the Greek state, the Greek technical construction and architecture community and the public opinion, as to what will be done with this issue. For it is now a common secret that the traditionalists within the Greek architecture and wider general academic community still view tall buildings as negative icons reminiscent of the hatred years of military junta, as well as symbolizing the destruction of the Athenian landscape after the Second World War.

The issue is far beyond the dialectic for the construction (or not) of tall buildings at the Greek Cities and especially in Athens. At the relevant column in GreekArchitects (http://www.greekarchitects.gr/index.php?maincat=22) there are many writings (at the Greek language) for the specific issue. The paradox is not the acceptance of constructing high rises and building tall in Greece, but rather the complete absence of any dialog for this possibility altogether.

In view of the above, it becomes apparent that the main problem here is not the completion of yet another big building whose construction remained on hold for years, as in the case of the new Athens Museum of Modern Art, but it extends well beyond that, and into the acceptance of the re-entry of tall buildings and even skyscrapers into the architectural vocabulary of Piraeus, Athens, and potentially a couple more big cities too.

This prospect of the construction of new tall buildings or even imminently, of world-class skyscrapers (that is, buildings of well above 100m height) still fuels a never-ending controversy and should be seen as one of the most deterring factors in re-opening the discussion about the ages-old 25-floor empty shell still overlooking the port in its seemingly timeless and unending idleness.

Alexios Vandoros, chief editor of GreekArchitects.gr / CTBUH Country Leader for Greece
Grigoris Μaloukos, BSc, MBA / Emporis.com, Editor for Athens and Greece


__________________________________________________________________________________


My latest pictures:









____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

News Update (30 January 2010)

It's been some time that we haven't heard any developments about the competition. Well, seems the organizing committee was working diligently to set up the infrastructure and thus, we bow have the official list of the names of the judging committee. Although all of us who are well into the issue of the construction of tall buildings in Athens and Greece know about most of the judges background and CV/ Resumes, if you want any additional info you may click on the link and visit the original judges' site where you can click in each name to find about more.

Quote:
2010 Piraeus Tower Competition Judges
Organized by greekarchitects.gr

GreekArchitects.gró s initiative is to form a Judging Committee that is consisted of members that ensure, through their personal work and career, the competition's open mind.
The Judging Committee is consisted of the following members:
(Alphabetically)

1. Citerne Anne-Line, Material engineer, DuPont representative

2. Dragonas Panos, architect, A. Professor of Architecture University of Patras.

3. Johnson Timothy, AIA, LEED AP

4. Kalogirou Nicos, architect, professor of of Architecture University of Thessaloniki-AUTH

5. Kondilis Costas, AIA

6. Kotionis Zisis, architect, professor, dean and chairman of Architecture University of Volos

7. Papaioannou Tasis, architect, Professor of Architecture University of Athens-NTUA

8. Tompazis Alexandros, architect

9. Tripodakis Alexandros, architect,Professor of Architecture University of Crete.

10.Wood Antony, architect, Director of the CTBUH

11.Representative of GreekArchitects.gr e-Magazine.
As you can see, both the Academia, the Professional Architecture world as well as the CTBUH (Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat - the world leading authority on Tall Buildings) are represented, including names such as Alexandros Tombazis, Tasis Papaioannou, Zisis Kotionis among others.

Well done guys, we're with you all the way.
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Old January 9th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #2
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Man, now that is truly an ugly building! Good thing to start a competition for a reclad.

Keep us informed
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Old January 11th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #3
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Ugh, what a commie building. Definitely needs a reclad
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Old January 31st, 2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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News Update (30 January 2010). See bottom of main post to find the namesof the Judging Committee
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Old February 1st, 2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramses View Post
Man, now that is truly an ugly building! Good thing to start a competition for a reclad.

Keep us informed
Tear it down: it will be appallingly expensive to reclad it properly, maintain it properly and the running/cooling costs are considerate. The only highrise in Piraeus should be the lighthouse, the myth...
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Old February 28th, 2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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_________________________________________________________

SIGNIFICANT UPDATE - 26 February 2010

Press Conference (Morning)and Workshop by DuPont Greece (Afternoon)

Introductory Notes

This is an update to inform you in the best possible detail given my amateur journalism and news reporting skills, and to basically offer you an inside view of the latest developments regarding this competition which, at the time of this writing has reached a phenomenal number of 330 preregistration entries something that according to the steering committee estimations will definitely lead to 200 participants submitting their proposals, both from Greece and abroad.

The competition attracted the interest of major national and international organizations and institutions including at the time of this writing the Schools of Architecture from the Technical University of Crete, The National Technical University of Athens and elsewhere with a number of professors participating in the judging process, prominent architects like Costas Kondylis from the US, known for the design of the new Trump World Tower in NY as well as having designed buildings all over North America, and Alexandros Tombazis who is rightfully ranked amongst the pioneers of tall construction in Greece and a worldwide recognized expert in bioclimatic architecture and the design of environmentally friendly structures in Greece and abroad.

Not to forget, Alexios Vandoros and Manolis Anastasakis are also members of the committee, both known for being the first Greek architects after many years to propose the construction of skyscrapers in Thessaloniki and Athens respectively.

Finally, Alexios Vandoros being a member of the CTBUH (the Counsil of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the world leading authority on tall construction worldwide) has also elicited the interest of the said organization with one of its top members being part of the judging committee.

There is notable participation by the municipality of Piraeus who were very interested from the first minute the competition was announced.

From the corporate world we have sponsorships from many firms including the European subsidiary of DuPont, the famous mega-group based in the US and having expanded their operations in many areas, including energy and building materials among them.

The event was organized by Advocate Burson-Marsteller Greece who are specializing in corporate public relations (the type that some Greek construction firms are severely lacking - Greeks know who I am talking about ).

A very important person to mention is the director and the Soul of Greekarchitects.gr, Vassilis Mistriotis. Being utterly modest, he refused to have his picture taken. He is one of the hardest working persons I ever met and I doubt that any of what we saw and may see in the future as a result of this competition, would have ever happened without his keen support. Notably, Vassilis is no friend of tall buildings. However, he is very open to the introduction and discussion of "bold" topics in the Greek architectural discourse and he likes challenges. He deserves the highest accolades for the love of what he does and his hard work as well as his overall contribution and for offering the chance to the supporters of tall buildings in Greece to express their views though his brain child. Much, very much owed to you Vassili and a big thanks from the tall building supporters all over Greece.

The names of the members of the steering and judging committee appear above the top of this update.

As a preliminary info before discussing the event and what came out of it, I must confess that I didn't know that "Changing the Facade" is a competition organized by DuPont with the purpose for architects to change the facade of buildings using Dupont surface coating materials . The competition run in many countries worldwide before they came to Greece and it started in Rome when they decided to change the face of The Colosseum!!!.

The Greek variant seems to be in the right track to become one of the most successful competitions EVER because of its symbolism since, there were anyways very few tall buildings ever built in Greece and for the ones familiar with the issue the prospect of building tall in ANY Greek city has been met with skepticism (I would say hysteria but I will try to reserve my full judgment given the happy developments making part of this competition) ) for a long number of years for a number of reasons explained elsewhere in the Greek forum.

In this regard, this competition represents a multi-fold challenge that transcends the limited dialectical context of architectural discourse of re-cladding yet another tall building. It rather relates to the issue of instilling life within an urban vacuum and transforming it into an urban "genius locus" a new focal point with the power to emanate waves of transcendence and transformation not only to the port of Pireaus where it belongs, but also all over Greece.

Before moving to the rest of what we need to discuss in this update, you need to know that for sure, there will be materials that will be available by the greekarchitects.gr site, including long videos from the event plus additional reports. What we try to do here is to sketch what was the order of the day in this beautiful day, on the 25th of February 2010. Both events took place in the 10-storey Fresh Hotel located in downtown Athens. Fresh Hotel belongs to this generation of new boutique / design hotels that recently became part of Athenian urban landscape and received very good comments for the changes they brought to the city's tourist product.


25 February 2010 - The Venue and Brief Description of the Events

Fresh Hotel seen from its base:



Detail of the entrance.



The event was organized into two main sections.


I. Press conference, Fresh Hotel First Floor lobby, Feb 25, 2010.

First was the Press Conference which took place on the first floor where Alexios Vandoros and Manolis Anastasakis made the introductory speeches. The notable element here is that the architects pointed out that the main purpose of this competition is NOT to start up a discussion about the (re-)introduction of tall buildings in the Greek architectural reality per se, but rather to confront the greater challenge of dealing with an "urban vacuum" that coincidentally has the size of a... highrise (22storeys, 84m height) and / or a skyscraper for the Greek relative measures.

The speech on the part of the representative of the port of Piraeus was very encouraging in that the municipality is actively interested about the outcome of the competition and where there may be a chance of realization of the winning proposal!!!.

Of course, a major by-product of this venture will be the discussion about tall buildings in Greece but this better had to come "naturally" as part of the discussion and not dominate the core element which is the re-creation of "architectural matter" out of a 35+ year-old urban vacuum.

As a matter of fact, I believe that (and this probably may be understood by architects and non-architects alike) this process of elicitation rather than forced introduction of a topic is what constitutes good architectural discourse than propagandistic cries and Greece as a whole and particularity the architectural needs rational and sound discourse, especially this time.

The announcements of the finalists and of the name of the winners of the first prizes, along with the exhibition of the works of the participants, will take place some time between mid-May to Mid-June. Until then, let's dream the unreal.


Pictures







Videos from my cellphone: Alexios Vandoros opens followed by Manolis Anastasakis





The gentleman in the next video must be Mr Alexandros Tripodakis, professor at the School of Architecture of the University of Crete. Although not a fan of tall buildings, the Greeks will understand how well-versed he is, using scientific arguments and addressing the issue without even a hint of bias, leaving room for flawless discussion.



After the completion of the morning event, we went to the 9th floor where I was offered lunch, seating at the same table with the DuPont team, and where I had a chance to explain the whole set of parameters behind the debate of building tall in Athens and the reasons for the almost total absence of this building typology from the Greek architectural vocabulary.

I was impressed by the diversity of the international origins of the DuPont European executive team (Spanish, French, well... many French, I started speaking French (albeit broken but it worked!!! Almost like riding a bicycle!!! ), not to mention the high level of professionalism that was also reflected in their presentations that followed. Needless to say of course that I talked a lot about La Defence and notably, the French guy who is the European Manager for DuPont in Warsaw (Central Europe) mentioned the latest developments in Poland and Warsaw which are booming in terms of construction.

II. The Afternoon Session - The Materials Workshop Conducted By DuPont

The afternoon session that took to another hall was, as a matter of fact, devoted to the presentations of the DuPont materials that could used for the reconstruction of the facade shell of the Piraeus Tower. The session was devoted to the architects and participants. Given the number of pre-registrants to the event, they expected a reasonably "healthy" number of attendees.

Well...

All of a sudden, we saw crowds especially of young people coming in waves and after they have occupied any available seat, they consumed every square inch of the hall. I took pictures of this, to show you the overwhelming number of young people that came to see, take notes, be informed about the competition, be it students or practicing architects who wanted to acquire a better knowledge about the DuPont products and how they could be used in the context of the competition.










Again, what is notable is the presence of young aspiring and practicing architects. This is a living proof that something is moving at least in terms of making the discussion about tall buildings inn Greece a vital element of the urban changes to come.

After the dust settled and the area looked like a university auditorium on high steroids, Alexios Vandoros started the introductions followed by Manolis Anastasakis who I daresay made a very good presentation about the necessity of introducing tall buildings in Athens on specific places.

Then, the presentations from the DuPont team and a few other Greek materials providers started, with the aid of a translator. When details are issued by the greekarchitects.gr I will prompt you for the details. I couldn't help myself not thinking about the progress made in the area of coating materials and how Greeks need to reconsider using cement always as far as an exterior material to buildings.

Alexios Vandoros at the session's opening speech





The auditorium as seem from a seating position looking towards the board.



Manolis Anastasakis was on high alert, presented some very interesting information on tall buildings in Europe and elsewhere, and assisted as well the running of the presentations of the panel and the works by DuPont executives and other members of the construction community as seen in the following photos:














In Conclusion - A last note:

In truthful honesty, I wasn't aware of what was expecting me when I went to attend these events. I later realized that I attended an event that took place in a medium-sized facility but whose magnitude is so large, as it seems to be developing,that it may open the doors for something bigger and better than the wildest hopes and expectations of my friends when they first got the idea of making this step and organizing this competition.

I maintain a reserved... optimism as to where this competition may lead. For sure, the greekarchitects team (including the perpetually moving and tireless worker Vassilis Mistriotis who is not shown in the pictures but -I repeat- without him nothing of the above could have happened) pulled a stunt that seems to be on the winning side. Let's hope,that it goes on like that to the finish.

The following picture is the image of the Piraeus Tower taken from the top of the Fresh Hotel. Behind the tower is a large cruise boat what is anchored in the port and we see two large structures made by men together, one floating and one founded. What an amazing spectacle!!! Taken with 9X optical and 7x digital zoom.



Finally, we see an image of the Acropolis taken by me as seen from the 9th floor of the hotel where the cocktail party took place. Admittedly, that was the best finale for a beautiful day and I leave you with this picture to go for some late night drinks.

And be prepared for more. MUCH MORE as far as the topics discussed here are concerned

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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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Further on the events of 26th February regarding the "changing the facade" competition for the Tower of Piraeus organized by the Greek architects.gr and DuPont Greece that we previously mentioned in this thread:

Full report with some of my pictures to be found on the greekarchitects.gr site. As mentioned in the main report which for convenience reasons I included in the opening port of this thread, the events of this day took place in two separate sessions, one morning and one afternoon session. During the morning session, where many interesting points were presented including a statement by the

Besides some of my images that you saw here (and some day shots of the Acropolis from the top of the "Fresh Hotel that you didn't) the new element in the greekarchtects.gr architects site are videos which unfortunately for the international visitors are only in Greek and French (when the DuPont) without any English subtitles.

During the morning session (which may be more interesting to the non specialists in the field of architecture and construction) the Press Conference took place and many interesting points were heard.

For the Greek speakers, in the Greek Version you will see ALL the videos in Greek and where you may "fish" and extract some interesting information including a statement on the part of the municipality of Piraeus about the prospect of expanding vertically being a viable solution for the future development of Piraeus!!!

The official press conference report (text, videos and photos) in Greek can be accessed by clicking HERE.

The official press conference report (text, videos and photos) in English can be accessed by clicking HERE


As also mentioned previously, there was an afternoon session where theworkshop of the building, cladding and surface coating materials took place, and where attendance was over and above any expectation by the competition's organizers.

The Greek Version of the official Workshop report (text, videos and photos) can be accessed by clicking HERE

The English Version can be accessed by clicking HERE.

It appears that the whole venture is on the right track and lots of interesting news may come to our attention during the coming months, including a general exhibition of the proposals as well as other public events that will be open to the general public.
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Old June 1st, 2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
End of Proposal Submissions
380 Proposals submitted by 449 Participants from 49 Countries!!!


Announcement of finalists - Opening of Exhibition:

Venue: Cultural Center "Athinais", Kastorias 34-36, Votanikos, Athens,
Tel. +30 210 3480000
Time: Thursday 24th of June at 19.30 pm
It seems that this finally may be a lucky season for all tall building enthousiasts, be it architects and related professionals, or non specialist individuals.

The above news, coupled with the relevant ones about a new cluster of skyscrapers in the area of Drapetsona to the West of the main port of Pireaus signify some kind of movement after many months of inertia.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #9
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Piraeus Tower 2010 "Changing the facade" Competition: The Results


Part 1 - The Awards Ceremony

___________________________________________________

Please note:
  • The official page of the competition's results is now available HERE in greekarchitects.gr in both Greek and English (click on links) and contains LOTS of materials and info on ALL valid competition entries, as well as the official videos of the event.
  • All pictures by gm2263 unless otherwise indicated by legends, rubrics and watermarks.
  • Design drawings and other competition material used by kind permission from greekarchitects.gr and the respective architects.

Background

As promised, after a long time I hereby submit my report on the Pireaus Tower 2010 Competition Awards Ceremony. As already mentioned, the event took place on Thursday 24 June 2010 in the premises of the new "Athinais" Cultural Center which is located in a rather peculiar neighborhood that combines expensive residential studios and lofts with car repair facilities and garages as well as some small tavernas and cafes which give the neighborhood an exclusive taste and character. The whole area seems to be in the middle of a transformation phase and we will certainly hear more news about it since it is developing into one of the major Athenian hotspots for the years to come.

-Image of the front facade of the Athinais Cultural Center, which does not give due credit to the size of the complex. As you can see, a number of floors are to be added to the existing structure which will be used as lofts and apartments to accommodate high caliber tenants, offering direct views to the Acropolis and the historical Athenian landscape.




Overall the competition proved to be a big success since:

There have been 949 participants belonging to 380 architectural teams which submitted their respective proposals. The international character of the competition is obvious by the number of countries of origin of the international participants(44) and because the competition made the news within the international architecture community. As Manolis Anastasakis and Alexios Vandoros repeatedly pointed out, the topic of the competition was included as a study topic in the academic curricula of many technical universities around the world, thus expanding beyond the mere boundaries of a problematic locale such as the port of Piraeus, or even transcending into a whole architectural discourse matter about urban transformation in general.

This may sound too much but only the ones that have been present to the event can tell you about the vibrant atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the public about the event leaving aside the gravity of the names present in the lecture all.

As in the case of the press release and workshop day which took place at the Fresh Hotel in central Athens on 25 February 2010, the event was organized by the greekarchitects.gr web architecture magazine, with Advocate / Burson Marsteller Athens being the strategic communications event advisor and DuPont Europe with DuPont Greece as the local executive branch of DuPont's Sponsorship and know-how as well as technical advisor.

All parties contributed to the event with the highest level of professionalism and this helped for the event to become a HUGE success, not only in terms of numbers (which were equally impressive) but also in terms of developing the proper climate to allow the fusion between professionals and enthusiasts and open architecture to the general public to a degree that only a few other events may have achieved in the past.

The list of the jury committee as per the greekarchitects.gr website includes the following members, all top in their professional areas of competence with Kondylis being one of the most renowned architects in North America and worldwide. Not that the rest of the names lack in depth of understanding all overall knowledge in their areas of competence as indicated by their credentials and their overall professional records.


1. Citerne Anne-Line, Material engineer, DuPont representative
2. Dragonas Panos, architect, A. Professor of Architecture University of Patras.
3. Johnson Timothy, architect AIA, LEED AP
4. Kalogirou Nicos, architect, professor of of Architecture University of Thessaloniki-AUTH
5. Kondylis Costas, architect AIA
6. Kotionis Zisis, architect, professor, dean and chairman of Architecture University of Volos
7. Papaioannou Tasis, architect, Professor of Architecture University of Athens-NTUA
8. Tompazis Alexandros, architect
9. Tripodakis Alexandros, architect,Professor of Architecture University of Crete.
10.Wood Antony, architect, Director of the CTBUH
11.Thanos Stasinopoulos,architect, Representative of GreekArchitects.gr e-Magazine.

What follows is the list of the speakers for the evening's event as appearing in the greekarchitects.gr website. Some of them also spoke during the morning press conference with the lion's share belonging to the excellent presentation of the competition's context and awarded proposals made by Manolis Anastasakis.

Anastasakis Manolis, architect, organization, Head of the competition
Citerne Anne-Line, Material engineer, DuPont representative
Dragonas Panos, architect, a. professor of Architecture University of Patras.
Kalogirou Nicos, architect, professor of Architecture University of Thessaloniki-AUTH
Kotionis Zisis, architect, professor, dean and chairman of Architecture University of Volos
Tompazis Alexandros, architect
Tripodakis Alexandros, architect, professor of Architecture University of Crete.
Thanos Stasinopoulos, architect, lecturer of Architecture University of Patras

Coordination

Vandoros Alexios, architect, chief editor & press representative of the competition

Curator

Vassilis Mistriotis, architect, GreekArchitects.gr Director


Events of the Day and Prizes

The day's sessions were completed in two parts.

The first part was the morning event which included the press conference and the presentation of the exhibition to the members of the press. Also, during this time the winners were interviewed by the press and had their photo sessions, interviews and other press contacts.

The second part was the afternoon session where the presentation of the winners to the public along with their awarded proposals took place. One thing I need to mention here, and which is clearly indicative of the success of the event, is the large number of people in attendance. The auditorium, much larger than the one in the Fresh Hotel where the opening of the competition took place was also packed with a large number of people standing. Notably, Ioannis Vikelas, the architect of the Piraeus Tower, was seating in the front row, watching the event.

Also, of particular mention is the presence of the European and the Greek leadership of DuPont whose presence gave utter credibility to the event and added invaluably to its significance. The event ended with a reception where all attendees and participants had the chance to exchange views and ideas and discuss many issues related to the subject matter of the competition.


Pictures from the Morning Session and Awarded Proposals

-Press Conference Panel - Morning




-Alexios Vandoros at Work:




-Manolis Anastasakis at work, doing his fabulous presentation.




The four finalists in the presentation made by Anastasakis.



Now let's go to the first prizes and the architects. For more info about the architects and their work, please click:

HERE for English, language content, and,
HERE for Greek language content.

First Prize: The Windscraper

Architects: Matthias Hollwich, SBA and Marc Kushner, AIA



The idea of the project is an eco-tower that uses the power of the wind to reduce its energy footprint. Notably, the exterior surfaces and the facades of the building have hundreds of flexible rods attached to them, each one equipped with motion sensitive sensors attached to power transformer(s) so that when the rods swing, electricity is being produced. Not my favorite one (Looks it was taken out of Tsukuba Science City, Japan) but I would anyway be very happy if realized.

Here from left to right, one of the two partners, probably Matthias Hollwich (center), with Alexios Vandoros (left), and Vassilis Mystriotis (right)






Second Prize: The Water Tower

Architects: Danir Safiullin - Irina Prytkova



According to this concept, water is pumped to the roof in large quantities and then it is being thrown to cascade in parallel to the facade of the tower. A paradox of presumed eco-friendliness, this gigantic fountain of a tower despite its deceiving looks, must be much more expensive than any conventional tower we know. Imagine the cost to continuously pump these large quantities of water water to a height of 84 meters, not to mention the expenses required to making the building that waterproof in order to sustain such a use.

According to the jury committee, this design was given an award for the idea and not its realization potential. Well, of course it may be possible to be built but it better be in Dubai. Especially before the crisis, it seems that there was always a listening ear to similar ideas there...

Here are the architects again with Alexios and Vassilis.




Third Prize:

The Third Prize was given to two proposals that ended up with equal points during the evaluation process. They are as follows:

Third Prize: Architect: Marco Acerbis



This is a very feasible idea consisting of a number of umbrella-type parapets attached to an exoskeleton frame surrounding the original shape of the building which extend and retract depending on the amount of sunlight they receive. A variation of this system could be for the parapets to consist of photo-voltaic panels so that the solar energy may be captured unobstructed, given the fact that the building has large surfaces with no other structural obstacles above the the floor due to the fact that the heights of the neighboring structures are much lower than the one of the tower's as well as the the additional advantage that the front side of the building is free since it faces the port and there are no buildings on the opposite side of the street.

I liked this one very much, with the reservation that the moving mechanisms and parts will have to be properly and scrupulously maintained in order to function properly.

In the following picture, Marco Acebis with Alexios Vandoros and Vassilis Mistriotis.




Third Prize: Architects: Gerald Griggs - Weimeng Lu



This is a rather conventional design based in the simple idea of coating the existing frame behind a marble wall. The architects pay their homage to the local prevailing materials of which stone and marble are well known worldwide, thus making an association between the building and its traditional land roots, something that is accentuated by the architectural design of the buildings which totally eliminates glass, something rather unusual for buildings of this size worldwide, by proposing a series of square window-type openings similar to the ones found in much smaller construction scales in Greece.

Very interesting proposal, albeit a re-iteration and an upscaled adaptation of already existing architectural styles in this country with no novelty and ecological connotations except from the passive protection from the sun rays that is effected by the use of marble as the building's coating (and insulating) material as well as the small size of the windows to the sides of the buildings.


A Selected List of Mentions

Below you can find a list of mentions that were awarded by the Jury, the greekarchitects staff, as well as third party bodies. Enjoy:


First Mentions:


Misak Terzibasiyan Emile van Vugt




-Arseni Varabyeu, AIA - Volha Parshyna



Both the above constitute excellent examples of architecture not yet seen in Greece due to the conformism of the technical construction community and the institutional talibanism permeating the legal framework and the building codes in Greece.

As for the rest, the discussion with MY CHOICES some of them not seen anywhere and all of them scanned from the competition's book, will continue after we end the presentation of the day's events.

What followed the morning presentation was the opening of the exhibiution for the press. A rather modest layout...





...with an EXCELLENT spot hidden to surprise everybody:



...obviously only a small part of the many hidden corners of the cultural center:

Here the main entrance corridor:



So, here we are for the evening images.

The hall was PACKED, an indication not only of the success of the competition but also of the suppressed interest about architectural novelty from the existing academic, legal and institutional establishment inGreece.

Let the pictures speak for themselves:




All these people are ready to assist this country to go to the next level. All they need is a sparkle to light up a creative fire:



-The two culprits (they remind me of fugitive characters in comedy movies) Alexios Vandoros and Vassilis Mystriotis with obvious signs of tiredness in their faces shortly before the beginning of the frantic evening session.




-Alexios at the podium:



-Manolis Anastasakis making his excellent presentation on tall buildings while professors Alexandros Tripodakis (Uni of Crete) and Zisis Kotionis (Uni of Thessaly)



-Manolis Anastasakis and his presentation at its peak:




One of the living legends of contemporary Greek Architecture, Alexandros Tombazis (right) next to other members of the jury:



Alexandros Tombazis giving a small speech in Greek commenting on the competition (My Video):



This is the lineup with the prize winners and DuPont executives.



For reasons of keeping the size of this presentation to minimal extends I did not include images of the awards given to the winners, although I have taken some. For more please click HERE

...and this is the last picture depicting the entrance of the venue with the happy crowd taking a last sip of their drinks before leaving the premises.



What follows in the second part following this report is my assessment on the competition and the proposals and the implications it entails for the overall tall buildings and highrise communities in Greece. You won't find this info anywhere else, not like that. So prepare yourselves for an exclusive equally exhausting ride.
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Old July 8th, 2010, 10:34 PM   #10
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Piraeus Tower 2010 "Changing the facade" Competition: The Results

Part 2 - A Deeper Insight: Painting Utopia With Some Earthly Tones



An Introduction: Charting Utopia

The history of architectural competitions in Greece is a rather bitter one, not always providing the desired fruits be it aesthetic, efficient or simply, appropriate to the context they are supposed to serve.

Besides some recent bad examples with which most Greeks are already familiar (i.e. the reconstruction of Omonia Square in Central Athens) this bad tradition casts its shadow with a darker tone when it comes to the construction of big and / or tall buildings.

Notably, there have been a number of competitions for tall buildings back in 1972, back in the years of the military dictatorship (1967-1974). we may mention the competition for the Athens Trade Center (See Architecture in Greece, Annual Journal, 1970), as well as the Power Corporation and the Greek Telecom (OTE) buildings (See Architecture in Greece, Annual Journal, 1972), both the latter mentioned HERE at the end of the first post with some detail. These competitions were indeed significant since they were the first ones to evoke massive reactions on the part of the Hellenic Architecture Community towards the prospect of a large public sector building to be built following a socially interactive process. Notably, there has been a modified version of one of the proposals for a Greek Telecom building that was finally built as a result of the respective competition...

In retrospection, the legacy of these competitions simply perpetuates the embarrassment in the attitudes of many Greeks - and certainly the post-dictatorship (1974-) academic community. For it is the idea of the big and tall building that makes many Greeks - both architects and non-architects- to invoke an instant frown, displaying an archetypal and totemic notion of fear that is not that much related -as one might suppose- to natural catastrophes or freak disasters (i.e. earthquakes, fires, terrorist attacks) but is rather based on negative metaphysical symbolisms and connotations stemming from social, political and other experiential causes. Strangely enough, as you may find out, Athens and Piraeus do not have skyscrapers, with the exception of the Athens Tower (28 fl, 103m).

Piraeus Tower (24fl, 84m), that is, the tower we are talking about here would go unnoticed in terms of height had it been in most Chinese or North American cities with population above 1 million. It would simply have been overwhelmed from the size of the super-towers surrounding it regardless of design, unless it as located on a peculiar location and it really served a special purpose (i.e. an oversized Beaubourg or something) in the middle of an eco-science theme park. In Europe it may have been given minimal attention in cities like Paris, London, Warsaw or Frankfurt, depending on the design and the materials used for its construction. In Greece, it is a different ball game. We are talking about the second tallest building in the country and I assure you, if successfully completed and with some good tenancy rate achieved, its ranking will go down to #10 fast.

This characteristic is what makes this competition special: This building will constitute the bridge for other bigger, taller, brighter constructions when completed. Of course, until these come, it will be the second tallest and one of the most newly designed buildings in Greece. However, with the 30+ year inertia as far as tall and emblematic building construction is concerned, it may be understandable that everybody may need to rush. The point is: How "far" can this building's design go at this stage? Given the current state of the Greek economy, people's psychology and overall numbness, not that much one might assume. And I haven't included in the pictures the various negativists who are having a party these days given their prevailing "mantra" that "plutocracy is responsible for all evils", of which tall buildings are seen as one of its greatest icons.

So, in my view, for a tall building to make its way in the Greek environment it may need to abide to the following conditions:
  • will stand out as an innovative design by the Greek standards
  • will not stand out too much as height which is a new element in the Athenian architectural dictionary, will constitute half of the cultural impact with the rest of the effect to be made by the design. So, I wouldn't go with something extremely odd designwise.
  • will include environmentally friendly elements but will NOT involve increased maintenance demands. No fountains, no bird nests, not many hanging gardens as they will rise maintenance costs and consequently tenancy costs will rise in a time of recession.
  • will make an impact to the Piraeus skyline as a firm shape that stands there as a guardian to the port. Here I would like to enter in a debate about the necessity for a “dissolving shape” tower right in this spot. So no cascading waters, no clouds and no rods swinging here and there. Like I said, this may have been an excellent design for Tsukuba, Japan but in Piraeus, Greece - I don't know.
  • Finally, this should be a building that will be easy to (re-)build and maintain during a time of recession. When the economy starts getting back in shape again, we may experiment with pioneering designs and towering bird nests (although I very much liked the design of the Engineered Biotopes building, unfortunately practical issues ARE there want it or not)


My Choices


So, with my one eye on practicality and "realizability" and with my other on "pioneering design" and innovativeness, I made my own choice, which, after a thorough but not exhaustive examination of the proposals ended up as follows (list is highly subjective and highly biased and is not to be used as an indicator of the overall quality of the competition entries which, in general was very high):

Choice 1. (Also Greek architects Special Mention):

Architects: Florian LEVY - Laurent SANZ



A good design which maintains balance between structural freedom and design integrity. It may look boring behind these orthogonal surfaces but it manages to maintain a "Greek" character and is very well blending with the rest of the port's structures. This exchange between black and white does the trick and plays with the eye. The interior gardens are also a plus. I would expect though a provision for solar and wind energy capturing with transparent solar panels and small rooftop wind turbines. Nevertheless, I believe the combination of local colors combined with transparency fits the purpose well and will probably please the investors too.


Choice 2 (First mention architects.gr):

Architects: Arseni Varabyeu, AIA - Volha Parshyna



This could also have been number one. It has it all. It IS a "green" tower, and while it has what its architects call (interlacing organic shapes) yet they manage to discipline the form without compromising on aesthetic originality. Also, observe the wind turbines on the roof. Give and take some concerns regarding maintenance costs, this building deserves some proper attention.


Choice 3: Prismatic Adaptation

Architects: Pavlos Castro, Giorgos Tsopanoglou, Panagiotis Skraparlis, Konstantinos Panopoulos



Well done fellow Greeks. This one presents an austere geometry that I like. Of course, the way the building unfolds its skyward geometry has been seen in the past. For a strange reason, this building struck me as a less developed morphological variant of the One PPG Place in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I liked it because of the sight it offers to approaching boats. Truly metropolitan architecture, perhaps passe, perhaps more corporate than urban in its austerity, perhaps a bit too early 90s but still looks like a classic.

Choice 4: Deep Blue Glass

Architect: Joszef Laczka



Although this one looks like it used an idea or two from Rentzio Piano's New York Times Tower, it still offers a good balance between the material the building is coated with, and its "heavy" orthogonal shape. I like the way how the building gets a "light" figure with simply the addition of this type of material.

Choice 5: Nouvelle vague

Architects: Natalia Giaouri, Dionyssia Daskalaki, Kelly Mavromataki,
Vaso Bakali, Peny Papargyropoulou, Naya Tritaki, Christina Frageti, Konstantinos Chadios



I know, I know... this looks too "ordinary". A curved surface attached to an existing boxy shape. However, look at the symmetry. The architects thought very well the how the curved surfaces will take over the existing form of the tower. This is how you can turn an existing dull and dated design into a modern one within a few months keeping an eye to the parameters we examined in the introduction of this post.


Other Designs I Chose


-Parametric Sun Tower

Architects: Portzio Giovanni, De Vito William, D; Alessantro Marta, Serange Berangere




-Fish Scales: Not bad... Greeks did it again

Architects: Stavros Peppas, Christina Ioanna Lambrou



-Chameleon Tower: B' Mention - This one like

Architects: Emannouel Iliakis, Maria Remoundou, Agni Kouvela, EM-KEI




-Light Tower - This one has floors added:

Architects: Ksenja Bunjak, Bratislav Gakovic, Milena Gbric, Ivan Zoric, Namania Zoric, Aleksandra Kirn, Zoran Lazovic, Ladan Stevovoc, Aleksander Bobic, Milorad Ristic, Srdjan Tufegzic



-Time Raft: B' Mention - Interesting - Greeks Again

Architects: A. Oikonomidis Doumvas, A Papadopoulou, A. Chronopoulou



-SurfaceScaper: Interesting

Architect: Yannis Douridas




The Near Misses

Here are another couple of entries to the competition that had they been submitted 20-25 years ago they would easily be considered for realization and get higher places.

-A Blast from the Past

Architects: Clemens Deeher, Markys Groteke

This one came straight from the 1970s. Not award-winning material but for the ones living in Piraeus I bet they would prefer to see this realized instead of the "nothingness" of today.

Had this been designed in the 1970s it could have made a good design.



-Piraeus Waves Tower

Architects: Anton Korilov, Siarhei Mikhailin, Valeriy Kuzliyanov, Semen Morozov, Yaroslav Samlianskiy



Despite its mediocre design which looks like it comes straight from the 1980s I need you to pay a little attention to this building. I would probably choose it for the first place if looked a bit more like the Aqua Tower in Chicago. Too bad it didn't.

It is sometimes strange how the same idea is treated so differently in architecture. But that's what happens in life overall one might say...

Now let's move to another interesting story:

Towards the end of the last decade (in 1998 if I recall correctly) there has been another mobilization towards the completion of the tower. Here are a couple of computer renders that have been made public at the time.

Not comparable to the ones we saw here but, given the spirit of the times back then, they could have easily been implemented.




Epilogue

What many of the members of the jury pointed out in their speeches during this particular day of the announcements of the results, is simply that much more than anything, they would wish this competition to become a cradle of a new thinking towards how the concept of the built environment is being approached in Greece.

The second concern was to reinstate architectural competitions and their public presentations as a tool for fostering social discourse on architectural matters, bringing together architects and non-architects, specialists and non-specialists that is.

The third, which is more important to me, is the idea of initiating and reinforcing the discussion about the (re)introduction of large scale and particularly tall building construction in Greece. The latter is of the utmost importance to the tall building community in Greece since, especially during hard times, large scale construction focusing on completing realizable building structures and following the latest environmentally friendly construction principles, may not only contribute to the start of a new "virtuous cycle" in a stagnant economy, but also, it may generate feelings of "urban pride" and belongingness to a greater effort among citizens, especially if these structures are citizen-friendly and offer a much needed service to the broader community in the form of jobs, improvement of the overall building and natural environment, as well as creating new and better social endeavors for all us to work, live and progress.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #11
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My compliments for your posts! So much interesting information to read and very well organized. I'm gonna read everything when having time.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #12
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Thank very much Atmosphere. Here is another addition, hors-serie as the French might say, which had drawn some attention in the Greek Forum, albeit not my personal favorites:

The Medusa Τouch (title is mine )

Architects: Marco Aurelio, Galan Henriquezy



As I am a big fan of Godzilla and the Japanese Monster Movies genre, I cannot fail to observe the similarity between this design and the monster Hedorah (Hydra) which was confronted by the King himself (Godzilla, that is), in many movies, including Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971) and Final Wars (2004).

This is a very interesting monster which was given birth by a combination of water and sea pollution as well as radioactive pollution. Albeit disgusting at first sight it proved to be a very powerful adversary to the King, I'm telling you .



You may also see a passing resemblance to the sea monsters described in the novels of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and especially the infamous Cthoulhou, as seen in the following picture where the famous American Horror and Science Fiction writer is depicted amongst its beloved monsters with the King Cthoulhou himself depicted on the top of the pic:

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Old July 10th, 2010, 03:44 PM   #13
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It could be amazing for Piraeus!!!
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Old July 10th, 2010, 08:29 PM   #14
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the waterfall idea just doesnt make sence, think about all the energy, if it would be possible to make this natural (with a higher located water source) it would be awesome, and with the falling water you can get energy...

anyway, the 3rd prize I really like a lot, simple, nice idea which would give a pretty cool result, aswell imo it seemed the most realistic one..
anyway... they have chosen number 1, which i dont really like that much
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Old December 20th, 2010, 02:14 AM   #15
Jim856796
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My preferred design for the Piraeus Tower reclad is the Deep Blue Glass one.

Generally, the reclad can involve stripping the entire building to the bare concrete frame and then applying the new facade. Now, can it be used for offices or be converted to some other use?
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