An extension to an industrial unit was designed, in a purely industrial area in Attica. The project includes spaces for industrial use and storage, administration offices, ramps that connect the existing building with the extension and additional spaces. The connection of the two building units, old and new, was a critical factor for the space planning and layout.
Architects: Studio NL- Nancy Leivaditou
Structural engineers: Lithos consulting engineers
Mechanical: Jepa- Papagrigorakis & associates
Photographer: Vassilis Makris
Location: Attica/ Greece
The operational needs of the factory required a big, tall, rectangular structure made of steel. The office building was designed in front of this steel structure in order to create a smooth transition, in terms of perspective and function, from the lower to higher and from the public to private spaces.
The key element to the design was to provide a high quality working environment for the employees, creating green spaces in a strictly industrial environment although the concept of vegetation seems to be contradicting the typology of a factory. The green niches function as a protective layer between the glass walls and the heavy traffic. The green spaces and the building interact in a continuous choreography: at times, the plants move along the building creating flower beds, other times, they “force” it to recede creating green islands, and occasionally they are framed by the concrete walls resulting in open atriums. The green spaces are also used to mold the site’s inclination. The glass walls provide the working spaces with natural light, fresh air and a relaxing view by selectively blocking the perspective. The building meets the contemporary environmental requirements, using louvers and plants for sun shading, led lighting, motion detectors, recycling water and other energy saving solutions.
The design process was influenced by the design of the internal traffic control plan. The vehicles move on both sides of the site while pedestrians are directed to the center of the site, where an elevated “safe” pathway has been created. As a result, the two flows are independent and they only intersect at a pedestrian crossing. The visitors make their way into the building through a long staircase that welcomes them as they arrive from the parking lot.
Next, the visitor proceeds either to the main entrance of the new office building – angled to the direction of the pedestrian flows- or the elevated pathway, at the end of which there is the main entrance of the existing office building. The illumination along the pathways functions as a «signage» for the employees during the night, highlighting the architectural design.
Concerning the existing buildings, the entrance gatehouse was rebuilt from scratch and the facades of the electric power building were remodeled.
Architecture is a conglomeration of motion, functions, senses, needs and physics. The study and the interpretation of all these parameters in a specific context and time is the main objective of Studio NL. Any experimental method which could question the concept of the “ordinary” and could negotiate the existing boundaries constitutes a field of study.
Nancy Leivaditou/ Principal Architect- Founder
Architect, a graduate of the School of Architecture, University of Patras (2005) and obtained a Master’s degree in «Advanced Architectural Design» from the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University in New York (2007). Worked for an architecture studio in New York for a year (2008). Established a private architecture and design studio in Greece, Studio NL (2009), engaging in a range of activities including architectural projects, interior design, product design, architectural competitions and digital artwork. Many of the projects have been exhibited and published in magazines, books and exhibitions.