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|Awards:||RIBA Regional Award |
Designed and built in just 16 months, the GEK headquarters was Hopkins’ first completed overseas building.
GEK wanted a new city centre headquarters that would showcase its high standards for design and construction. The site was particularly challenging due to the existence of an apartment building at the apex of the tight triangular plot.
The competition-winning design creates two wings of office accommodation connected by walkways across an open central courtyard. Overlooked by a mezzanine staff restaurant, the marble-floored courtyard provides a tempered environment that gives shading in the summer and protection from cold winds in winter. A shared core is positioned at the narrow end of the site to allow potential future expansion into the apartment building site.
Elevations respond to Athens' bright sun by ensuring that any daylight entering working areas is reflected and shaded to prevent glare. Window sizes are small on the two external elevations, with clerestory glazing incorporated within solid areas of stainless steel panels. This moderates solar gain without losing too much daylight penetration. Inside, storage zones create a thermal buffer.
Using a simple palette of stainless steel, concrete and timber, the building shows off GEK’s construction skills, with prominent use of exposed board-cast concrete surfaces and fine joinery.