REVIVAL AND REUSE OF A HISTORICAL BUILDING FOR THE CREATION OF MODEL GREEN OFFICES WITH LEED GOLD CERTIFICATION
FORMER ELEFTHEROTYPIA BUILDING IN NEOS KOSMOS
In March 2021 a new, modern office space in Athens began its operations, in the building that used to house the historical offices of Eleftherotypia newspaper.
2018 - 2019
Grivalia Management S.A
The existing building was a six-story edifice with continuous glazing, and a solid base with limited openings on the ground floor that housed the historic newspaper’s press. The main entrance was set in the backside of the courtyard. The outdoor areas were closed and served mainly for loading and unloading.
Main objective of the design
The main object and challenge of the design was to open the building to the city, and to create a functional, organic connection with the urban fabric. The main idea of the architectural composition was the opening of an internal stoa that runs through the building’s volume and offers access from the main road artery of the area, as well as the visual connection of the street with the outdoor area that has been turned into a friendly green space.
A transverse axis was created as a continuation of the stoa, which organized the outdoor spaces and movement flows.
On the building’s ground floor the shared functions were organized according to modern standards, ensuring pleasant spaces for communication, creative collaboration in a relaxed and familiar environment, rest, and food.
These spaces include a multifunctional hall, a playroom, a gym, a recruitment area, and a cafeteria.
One of the achievements of the redesign of the outdoor areas was that the once detached and unattractive courtyard became alive, was transformed into an attractive outdoor area with organic paths and materiality, becoming a meeting point and place for interaction among users.
The ground floor was opened to the city and the surrounding area through the change of use and the handling of the facades.
Main feature of the building’s reuse and revival was the redesign of the shell, with the aim on the one hand to create a landmark, and on the other to meet bioclimatic design principles — resulting in a building that is economic and sustainable in its operation and maintenance, with a reduced energy footprint.
The main idea behind the redesign of the facades was to preserve the building’s base and to formally unify the main body with its summit. Thus a solid base was created that juxtaposes the movement seen in the upper building.
This movement is achieved
through the creation of white, angular zones that alternate with continuous glazing, highlighting the building’s horizontality and adding flow and continuity to its form. The grooves created by the retreating glazing and their varying depth give the sense of a mass that is being extruded, adding movement and fluidity to the otherwise static volume.
The presence of plants completes the image, creating a friendly character and a familiar environment, both for the users and the city around the building.
Lastly, a special emphasis of the design was placed on the users’ health, a parameter that proved significant during the current pandemic. This is why the project was designed to receive a LEED Gold certification.
Towards that end, special criteria were taken into account, such as the quality of air inside the building, interior lighting conditions, ensuring visual vantage points, the use of materials with low concentration of volatile and toxic chemicals, the creation of a quality working environment, and the incorporation of plants — ultimately, the positive mood of the users.
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