Piraeus Tower, Athens, Greece, 2010

The proposed design is the result of authors' intention to create a contemporary, vivid landmark by inducing new qualities applicable on the existing structure. Since the original building obviously remained "stranger" (apparently was designed as such) in Athens' dense urban tissue, we believe that its unfortunate state can be overturned by redefining it in a way that it can constitute permanent dialogue with its urban and natural environment. Contextualisation and orientation therefore present key concepts defining the proposed design in all its aspects, the first subliming the questions of "exterior" qualities and the other dealing with the improvements of the "interior" achievable though redefinition of the facade.

The context of Piraeus Tower can be defined in numerous levels, and our response sublimes reflections on three mayor layers:


  • The port of Piraeus constitutes the immediate environment of the tower, therefore it was designed as an "urban lighthouse", marking its position both from the sea and from the land
  • Urban tissue of Athens is transposed into the basic grid, defining the pattern of the facade and extending into the horizontal plane, affecting all public areas and stretching through main pedestrian access routes
  • Acropolis and ancient monuments remain dominant and uncompromised by this design, since the tower seems to "fade out" into the skyline, and never becomes heavy, static focal point. Furthermore, its whiteness and specific texture contain associative elements immanent to ancient columns and aged flutes.


The facade is redefined to respond to the building's orientation, offering protection from overheating and direct sunlight exposure without compromising spectacular views on the city, the port and the sea.


  • Horizontal and vertical louvers protect the interior from direct sunlight, and at the same time provide abundance of quality diffuse light. Their size and density vary - decreasing from southern, most exposed section, towards the north.
  • The pattern of "cracked grid" should also allow natural ventilation, reducing the wind speed in contact with the building
  • The irregular pattern provides unique "picture frames"


The dominant visual effect is achieved by using Corian and its numerous possibilities:


  • Horizontal and vertical louvers are made of Corian, shaped in 5 different molds for vertical elements and 5 corresponding molds for horizontal elements. Their white colour reflects sunlight and provides diffuse light in the interior. Since these elements are hollow, use of translucent Corian with LED lighting systems can provide indefinite number of night lighting schemes. Various visual effects can also be achieved using exterior lights, assigning any colour to white louvers.
  • White Corian is used for many other details in the interior and the exterior, providing the complete continuum in patterns, material, visual and tactile effects, thus extending the facade into horizontal plane, echoing the basic architectural design over the benches, details, tables, seats, wall decorations etc. Its presence stretches from the nearby park, through public areas of the building, retail space, 3rd floor cafes and garden, through office space, the restaurant and roof terrace.