Architectural Competition Proposal Rethink Athens: Towards a New City Center

2nd Runner Up: AETER Architects - Harry C. Bougadellis & Associate Architects S.A George Batzios, Martha Schwartz Partners Ltd

Belvederes of Athens. The City of Athens’ historic triangle is delimited on its northern edge by Panepistimiou Street. A continuous 2% downward slope along the street’s 1km stretch between Syntagma and Omonia Squares serves the city’s most beautiful buildings such as the Academy of Athens, the National University and the National Library which define the history of both the capital and the ancient country. Designed to be one of the most important urban axes in the beginning of the 19th century, Panepistimiou was transformed into one of the busiest vehicular traffic axes of the city, a situation that remains today. Vehicular traffic dominates the Panepistimiou experience for all who use it.

Motorists are enclosed in a tense vehicular corridor, the dense traffic and fast speeds disabling them from a visual experience of the surrounding landscape. Pedestrians are submerged in the subsequent emissions and noise, unable to truly experience the street’s beautiful buildings and sights. Athenians recognize the value of Panepistimiou Street but ultimately avoid it as they  are isolated from existing public spaces like the Trilogy, Justice Square and Omonia Square.



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