Repurposing Competition Entry
The Athens Airport has been at the Hellinikon Site for over 60 years before it moved to the new site of Spata in 2001in anticipation of the 2004 Olympic Games that were held in Athens. The antiquated old airport, with its single runway, dilapidated terminal buildings separated by several kilometers, had reached the end of its useful life. A competition was held with invited participants to propose new uses and a design for the entire site.
The proposal consists of three main components:
A public park of romantic gardens with a long allay to mark the memory of the original runway.
Two new mixed-use neighborhoods. One to the northwest and one to the southeast
Several new public institutions: A new Hellenic Civil Aviation History Museum and public sports facilities
The design proposal for the aviation museum took advantage of the existing and beautiful Eero Saarinen Terminal on the East side of the airport and the presence of several stranded and abandoned Olympic Airways aircraft, among them OA’s original 747. The sports facilities left over from the Olympic Games interventions in the early 2000s were to be refurbished and given new life as sports venues that were easily accessible by the public from the coastal highway.
The urbanism, architecture and landscape of the proposal were grounded in principles of sustainability and resilience while creating a sense of place that reflected the landscapes, architecture, history and culture of Greece more broadly and the Attic peninsula specifically.
These mixed-use polycentric neighborhoods would hopefully diminish the need for automobiles and mass transit to the center of Athens and offer ecological alternatives for those who chose or
had to commute.
Finally, the project hoped to also initiate a larger interest and discussion in Greece about the built environment and the adverse effects of climate change, suburban sprawl and a fragile infrastructure of poorly designed and constructed buildings.
Notre Dame Design Team: R. Economakis, M. Lykoudis, S. Vitzthum, D. Mayernik, R. Soundy, J. Griffin, M. Gathinji, W. Tang;
Consultants: D. Hunt, Holladay Properties, South Bend.