Touristic Complex in the Saronic Gulf
Mixed Use Skyscraper
University of Thessaly
Greece is one of the most renowned summer destinations worldwide. The most famous Greek touristic product so far is the sun and the sea that characterize the climate of this country. Taking into account this information in conjunction with the timeliness of the place, the aim of this thesis is to design a new touristic product which aims to highlight the Greek culture while functioning as pole of attraction for new tourists, coming from distant countries.
After analyzing the tourism data of the country, it can be concluded that the new tourist product should attract as many visitors as possible from distant countries such as India, China, Brazil, etc. To achieve this goal the new product should include prototype elements that will introduce a new “language” in the tourism infrastructure of Greece, in order to stimulate interest of foreign tourists. This is the first mixed-use skyscraper in Greece.
This new architectural gesture derives its form and character from three points of reference. Firstly, the olive tree that was donated by goddess Athena to the Greeks and was useful for light, heat, diet, etc., then from the pillars that characterize the ancient Greek monuments like Parthenon, and finally the rugged natural landscape of Mount Hymettus. As a result, the new skyscraper is characterized by intense sculptural form that emerges as a body through the sea of the Saronic Gulf and derives its name from Triton god, described in mythology as the god of the sea and was presented in similar manner by the ancient Greeks.
The site where an architectural construction, which strongly differs in size compared to the existing urban fabric of Athens, should be chosen after a lot of research for the local building heights and uses. Initially, taking into account the absence of similar size buildings in Greece, the new skyscraper shall be placed far from residential areas so as not to affect the daily life of the residents. As a result there are two possible scenarios for the selection of the final location, either near the sea or near a mountainous region. Since this project aims to highlight the touristic product “sun and sea” of Greece, the new skyscraper should be placed near the sea. After analyzing the activities that one can enjoy on the south seafront of Athens, derives the conclusion that the point at which low tourist activity is detected, is the area near the old airport of Ellinikon. Thus, with the aim of improving the touristic infrastructure of the area, the final location of the new building is in the sea of the Saronic Gulf, as an extension of an existing marina near Ellinikon area.
The city of Athens got its name from the goddess Athena who brought the olive tree to the Greeks as a gift. God Zeus promised to give Attica to the god or goddess that would make the most useful invention. Gift of Athena was the olive tree, useful for light, heat, food, medicines and perfumes. It was chosen by the citizens, as a more peaceful invention, symbolizing peace, prudence and wisdom. The goddess Athena planted the first olive tree on the rocky hill of the Acropolis. Thus the olive tree is a key point of reference and inspiration for both the outside and the interior program of the skyscraper. The second reference used to design the skyscraper, are the pillars that characterize the ancient Greek monuments with particular emphasis on the intense grooves that appear on their surface. Also, the third reference is mountain Hymettus which is a natural landmark that gives its own character with regard to topography and soil diversity in the region. The nature that exists on its surface is dominated by earthy colors and arid plantation such as bushes and trees without deep green foliage. As a result, after having taken into account the above, the final form of the skyscraper arises intensely sculpted, like an olive trunk.
The new skyscraper operates as a touristic attraction near the city’s edge. The aim is to introduce an original organic form in the architectural “vocabulary” of Athens which apparently still differs from the most modern architectural projects in recent years. The peculiarity of its form, shall allow the new skyscraper to vary even from its future “neighbors”. In this way, enough debate will be caused for the architectural landscape of the city and may be the kick-off for not only the design but also the manufacturing of various organic buildings.
Triton is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea respectively, and is herald for his father. He is usually represented as a merman where he has the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish, “sea-hued”, according to Ovid “his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells”. Like his father, Poseidon, he carried a trident. However, Triton’s special attribute was a twisted conch shell, on which he blew like a trumpet to calm or raise the waves. Its sound was such a cacophony, that when loudly blown, it put the giants to flight, who imagined it to be the roar of a dark wild beast. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Triton dwelt with his parents in a golden palace in the depths of the sea; Homer places his seat in the waters off Aegae (presumably Aegae, Achaea, where Poseidon had his palace). Triton was the father of Pallas and foster parent to the goddess Athena. The skyscraper derives its name from this god as it is a highly sculptural form that could be stated that emerges as a body from the sea of the Saronic gulf, the same way that god Triton is depicted in mythology.
The trunk of old trees usually includes internal cavities in various sizes and forms, which is why the “koufalolia” terminology for trees having such cavities is common in many parts of Greece. The cavities are in many cases dimensioned in their interior so that they can accommodate from one to 5 or 6 people. This feature connects the trees of this type with various aspects of life of people who have used these cavities at times as spaces for games in childhood, as protection areas from rain or cold, or even as hiding places in case of persecution but also as places for housing animals.
In Triton Skyscraper the above phenomenon can be noticed in it’s green atriums. Each atrium includes large green areas that contribute to the “bioclimatic behavior” of the skyscraper and mainly aim to save large amounts of energy during the air renewal process for the interior spaces.