Athens' latest import...

James
Friday 14 Oct 2011

Kokkinou - Kourkoulas Architects complete new complex for Shop and Trade

The mixed-use complex for Shop and Trade, a company for clothing imports and distribution, is located on Pireos Street, the historic road that connects the City of Athens with the port of Piraeus. Since the end of the 19th century, the surrounding areas have been dominated by industrial uses and warehouses. In the last ten years the area has been revitalised.

The site of Shop and Trade is surrounded by distinct urban morphologies and scales: subsidised modernist housing estates, industrial areas and traditional urban blocks. The complex was designed to mediate and redefine their relationship. The property is surrounded by streets on three sides. The L-shaped four-storey office volume is placed along the back street and the boundary with the adjacent property. The garden contributes to the quality of public space while providing an environmental buffer for the offices.

The garden slopes towards Smyrnis Street at the back, under the main office volume, suggesting perceptual continuity of public and private open space. The distinct treatment of front and back elevations expresses the relationship between the industrial character of Smyrnis Street and the emerging identity of Pireos Street. The structure and all external wall surfaces are of exposed concrete. The front facades are visually continuous woven surfaces which also serve as screens. The garden is planted with trees, indigenous grasses and herbs that require minimum maintenance and irrigation and mark the seasons through their scents and changing colors.

The complex is approximately 10,000 sq m with an additional 9,000 sq m of underground parking to serve office employees and retail clients. Environmental performance is enhanced by the combination of geothermal systems, an atrium at the centre of the main office wing and automatic B.M.S. coordination of the openings. Construction was completed in June 2010.

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