The Metropolitan Sea Airport will be construct¬ed on a ten-acre plot on an existing pier at the Eleusis Port in Greece. Eleusis is etymologically and historically linked to the concept of the “jour¬ney”. According to the ancient myth, Persephone dies and travels to the land of the dead while her mother Dimitra ends up in the city of Eleusis. The city is transformed into a place of worship of the goddess, and Persephone’s journey is linked to the changing seasons.
The Metropolitan Sea Airport is linked conceptually, visually and experientially to its “context” as well as to various destinations in Greece. Our aim being that the journey begins the moment the traveler enters the building and not upon arrival to the destination as well as to create a low energy consumption hybrid building which serves as a sea airport and a commercial and cultural hub, housing functions such as restaurants, cafes, conference centers, exhibitions spaces, shops etc.
The building extends linearly along the pier and rises circularly in two levels. This circular arrangement of spaces ensures unobstructed views towards the horizon, the Saronic Gulf and the island of Salamis from almost every part of the building. Upon entering, the traveler enters at the heart of the Sea Airport, an interior atri¬um, where two architectural elements in dialogue with each other, create an “intermediate” space of circulation, rest, exploration, making refer¬ence to the country’s complex geomorphology.
The first is the glass ceiling, which contains plant¬ed “timber vessels” floating in it as boats in the sea and the second the embossed floor of the atrium with its “social contours”, a relief that consists of amphitheatrical seating, planting and integrated display cabinets with information. The volume of the waiting areas along the pier is pierced with atriums, which contain endem¬ic plants from all parts of Greece. The atriums emphasize the sustainable nature of the build¬ing and make the traveler witness the seasonal changes in its interior.
The DNA of transport and infrastructure conventional transit building is modified to en¬compass the sustainability characteristics of the proposed building. Sea planes have no impact on the Air Quality, Water Quality, Soil Quality, Wildlife & Hydrology. They are one of the few forms of transport that have the least impact to the environment. The city of Eleusis has significantly deteriorated in the past decades due to the high local industrial activity a part of which remains active.
Even though there have been significant efforts to restore its image since that period, the stereotype of the industry-damaged city remains. The Metropolitan Sea port, by marking Eleusis transition from an industrial to a sustainable future, will become a landmark capable of giving a new sense of place, increasing influx tourists and local employment opportunities. Source by Pieris.Architects.
- Location: Elefsina, Greece
- Architect: Pieris.Architects
- Client: Hellenic Seaplanes
- Type: Public Use, Transportation Hub, Conference Centre
- Status: Approved by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund
- Award: 1st Prize International Competition
- Size: 10.000 sqm
- Year: 2020
- Images: Courtesy of Pieris.Architects