Re-think Athens

26 March 2013

Presentation of the results of the European Architectural Competition for the creation of a new city centre

Re-think Athens exhibition travels to Metro Station "Syntagma"

After its big success at the Onassis Cultural Centre, the exhibition presenting the results of the European Architectural Competition "Re-think Athens" will be shown from Thursday 14 March until Tuesday 26 March in the city centre of Athens, at the Metro Station "Syntagma".

On 27 February 2013, the Onassis Foundation announced the winner of the "Re-think Athens" European Architectural Competition for the creation of a new city centre.
Click to watch the presentation of the results of "Re-think Athens": Greek or English.
Click here to view the winner and the other proposals that were awarded and distinctioned at the "Re-think Athens" competition.

All 71 proposals submitted at the "Re-think Athens" competition will be on display at the Onassis Cultural Centre from Thursday 28 February to Wednesday 10 March 2013, in an exhibition curated by the architect Panos Dragonas.

The winner of the competition is the Dutch architectural practice OKRA LANDSCHAPSARCHITECTEN BV.
The Dutch architectural practice, OKRA, is among the most important offices specializing in the design of open air public spaces on an international level. OKRA are based in Utrecht, were founded in 1994 and are directed by Martin Knuijt, Wim Voogt and Boudewijn Almekinders. Some of their most recent designs are the center of Basel in Switzerland, London's "third center" at Croydon, the metropolitan center of Copenhagen, the programmatic design for the future center of Rotterdam, the Cutty Sark Gardens in London and the Flemish Exposition space in Ghent. Aiming towards the middle ground of architecture, urbanism and landscape, their designs combine the visionary and the strategic approach in order to create environments endowed with character, scale, atmosphere and function, capable of assigning an identity to the space of social coexistence.

The Jury considered the winning proposal extremely successful, in terms of consideration all of the project's requirements and of meeting all of the evaluation criteria as described in the Competition Notice.

As explicitly stated in the minutes of the Jury Meetings, the winning proposal "manages to integrate a clear design for Panepistimiou Avenue and the city squares into the broader system of the urban spaces and landscapes constituting the center of Athens. By developing a wider conception, this design may also be expanded to include other neighboring spaces in the near future, thereby showing the potential for restructuring the entire city center".

In a comprehensive, functional, visionary and, at the same time, realistic manner, this particular study ingeniously deals with all of the issues prescribed for handling the problems of the city center. Mainly, however, the study focuses on the creation of the necessary conditions that will allow the citizens of Athens to develop a friendly relationship with their city, turning the Amalias avenue – Panepistimiou street - Omonia Square and Patission street axis into a destination point instead of a mere place of transit.

The aim of the winning proposal at the Rethink Athens architectural competition is the creation of a vibrant, green and accessible heart of the city. The study is not merely confined to applying contemporary ideas on the control of environmental conditions, the reduction of car traffic and the reprogramming of the public space. It aspires to get "one step beyond" in order to reach a comprehensive proposal for a flexible, accessible city bustling with life, connecting the adjacent area in the center, acting as catalyst for the revitalization of entire Athens. At the same time it advocates the restitution of the social fabric bringing together Patissia and the Archaeological Museum to the Trilogy and the Acropolis Museum, thanks to the substantial role of public transport and to the reinvigorated usage of public space. All of these, through the perpetual dialog and the restitution of the relation between the center and its surrounding green hills, its neighborhoods, its unique history.

See also the press release for more information about the winner and all the other awarded proposals.

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