An Urban-Agrarian Vision for Eleonas (w/Yannis Aesopos Architecture)

Project: Eleonas Masterplan: An urban-agrarian vision for Eleonas | Year: 2012 | Client (managing agency): City of Athens, Athens Development and Destination Management Agency | Location: Athens | Program:Housing, Offices, Sports Center, Convention Center, Bus Station, Park | Architect in Charge: Yannis Aesopos | Collaborating Architects: Anna Papadaki, Haris Biskos, Angeliki Evripioti, Kostas Vourekas, Helli Pangalou (landscape), Ioanna Koulouri

Eleonas, Olive Grove in Greek, constitutes an “urban enclave” within the urban mass of Athens located only two kilometers west of the city’s center. It stands on the area of an ancient olive grove and can be perceived as an extended formless, undefined, uncanny area that contains a random collection of manufacturing, storage and transportation facilities in constant flux combined with neglected leftovers of the original landscape of Attica.

The proposed Master-Plan acknowledges the area’s key location as a nodal point for all mobility networks of the broader Athens Basin and its proximity to the city center and the port of Piraeus. It supports the implantation of large-scale buildings with mainly tertiary sector programs within the core of the area as stimulators for development; they are supported by a new LRT line which crosses the area form north to south and connects to all other public transportation networks. As a balance to the insertion of new building surfaces to the area, the upgrading of the green environment is considered fundamental and is realized through the reconstruction of a new large-scale linear olive grove (a “new Eleonas”), the reconstruction of Profitis Daniel Stream and the extensive planting of olive groves, orchards, collective farming in the form of allotments and public parks. The presence of housing is strongly supported using new typologies, different from that of the typical “polykatoikia” (the Greek apartment building). The simultaneous use of tools for economic development with the strengthening of the natural/landscape character of the area create a new “urban-agrarian” environment.