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eVolo 06 Skyscraper International Competition (2006)

A proposal for a “Multiskyscraper” : The West Athens Towers
Athens , Greece

Our proposal is dominated by concern for the type of urbanity that a skyscraper can reveal, and how its relationship with the soil on which it rests is treated. This concern extends to the natural and cultural history of the place, i.e. to the way in which a major project can translate the special features of a site and propose meaningful links and new relationships between current needs and views and the history of the place.

A design strategy emerges from this concern. We have been led to create a significant amount of open-air public space that constitutes a functional part of the project. We treat the high-rise elements of the construction as natural protrusions from the familiar ground. The project is called upon to create a dense urban habitation site that will be in direct interchange with the natural subsoil of the city – the physical ground.

To achieve these goals, a new approach to tall buildings is necessary. We address the question of the skyscraper not as the design of a large monolithic building unit, but as a composition of component elements. The multiplicity of the elements liberates potentialities both for creating an open public space and for linking these units with the natural environment. We call this new building concept a multiskyscraper, because of the multiplicity of its units and functions and because of the multiple potential it offers.

The proposed high-rise buildings ( West Athens Towers – WAT) will constitute a powerful tool for urban regeneration and will lend a new dynamic to the region. They will enrich the skyline of Athens with a shape that conveys the meaning of the site and will become a dynamic symbol that will consolidate its position as the largest metropolis in the Mediterranean .

The fact that the towers will rise out of the ground as olive leaves and the natural landscape of the olive grove of Athens will be restored constitute links with the physical and cultural history of the site. With the aim of revealing the natural topography, the restored olive grove is interwoven with the three towers at the base level and creates a public park area. The public nature of the entrances highlights the accommodation of public services on the lower floors. The multifunctional nature of the project is made visible by the housing of multipurpose areas such as shops, offices, a hotel and residential units. This is a complex that intermingles uses, building masses, the city with nature, past with present, public with private. This is a Multiskyscraper.