at the architectural competition:” Piraeus Tower 2010 – Changing the Face/Façades Reformation”
The façade remodeling of the tower is an interactive and sustainable design of a new “skin” that merges together the construction, the sea and the urban landscape of Piraeus.
The built skin
The body of the tower is covered with vertical glass shades that can be rotated mechanically. Their variation in width and height, the distance between them and the difference in transparency and colour forms a flowing rolling glass surface. Thus, the façade changes accordingly to suit different weather conditions.
The colours chosen for the blinds were set to match the artificial and natural surroundings. Where the seawater dominates the background the cool-coloured blinds become denser, while some contrasting color splashes stand out like ships in the sea.
At the other end of the façade the colour tones become gray and beige to match the monochromatic built landscape of Piraeus, with the addition of some green and blue “reflections”.
The level of transparency on the glass blinds depends on the orientation of each elevation. The blinds protect the tower from direct solar radiation whilst enabling its natural ventilation and regulating the daylight. That also affects the tincture of coloured light that enters the interior spaces.
The space between two adjacent blinds also functions as channel of fresh air inflow in the summer, whilst the panels block the wind in the winter, thus providing both natural but also controlled ventilation and coolness.
At night interior lighting that shines through the blinds subtly reflects the colouring of the building. A stripe of LED emphasizes the lines of the white metal frame that hold the blinds together.
Fire safety staircase
The essential extra fire-safety staircase for safety purposes is parted from the main body of the tower and is being built at a distance of 2,3 m. It merges with the base of the building and leads to the shaded ground floor (arcade) and the basement. It is painted with silver color that deflects the sun.
The 21st and 22nd floor merge in order to host a spacious restaurant with a tall ceiling that is twice as high.
The 18th and 19th floor merge in order to host a semi-outdoor public space.
The roof of the 2nd floor with the open-air café becomes a garden with various native plants.
One of the lower floors of the tower is used for the electromechanical facilities.
The materials used are the appropriate for the visual impression the architects wanted to create and most importantly support the sustainable dimension of the building.
The shades are made of laminated safety glass. Thanks to the high strength performance of DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayers, the glass can be both thin and light enough to facilitate the use of particularly small point supported fixtures –even for the overhead shade installations of the tower. As a result, the facade transmits a sense of brightness, simultaneously fulfilling rigorous safety requirements. The various colours of the blinds are imparted by a colored interlayer, combined with the DuPont™ SentryGlas® structural interlayer for deflection resistance. Some of the glass shades are partly or fully obscure.
The shades are fitted in lattice metallic beams.
The aluminum frames fitted with a thermal break and combined with the appropriate glass panes and rubbers, offer high levels of heat and noise insulation.
Benches designed with Corian® materials by Dupont™ and metallic frame are provided in the “green” areas at 18th and 19th open semi-outdoor floors.
Reinforced concrete and metallic steps make the stairwell.
Anhydrous native plants have been chosen to cover parts of the flat roofs.
YOLKSTUDIO, Manolis Iliakis, Maria Remoundou
Adviser: Agnes Couvelas
Graphik design: Em-Kei
Agnes Couvelas graduate of NTUA in Athens founded her own firm operating in a wide variety of projects, including commercial, administrative and residential buildings, cultural centers and historic sites throughout Greece. Durability, livability and energy conservation are primary requirements of her work and are incorporated through specific manipulations to environmentally friendly design of her buildings. She lectures in architecture in Greece and abroad.
Maria Remoundou and Manolis Iliakis established their architectural and design studio (www.yolkstudio.gr) in 1999. They have undertaken a broad range of commercial and private commissions and have worked extensively on creative architectural projects with affinities to environmental and social issues. Manolis Iliakis’ academic career includes teaching, research projects on the relationship between architecture & dance and writings on architecture with a strong focus on sustainability. He teaches architectural composition in Vakalo College and is an accredited lecturer of Derby University.
Agnes Couvelas and Manolis Iliakis have collaborated for the production of the video-dance film “In Between”. The video has been created as an attempt to observe and redefine the discontinuity between the natural marine environment in all its randomness and the monolithic sensation of the built blocky landscape of Athens.