Canging the face 2010
Piraeus Tower

The Port of Piraeus, Athens, Greeceinternational competitioncompetition finale

People on project:
  • Nikolai Lim
  • Fedor Troitsky
  • Natalia Yurkova

Concept & Solution

RC – Rectangular Cloud

The original building was a true legitimate child of its 1960s' epoch. It was built deliberately rectangular, laconic, optically rigid and, thus, seemingly rational. Too rectangular, too rigid and too self-confident as it gets evident now. It is especially evident in the magnificent scenic landscape environment of Piraeus.

To-day we are not so sure about the virtues of a pure parallelepiped in architecture. And we are not so sure about the necessity to sacrifice the joyous harmony of natural environmental forms for the sake of rational geometry reign. But in some way the RC project pays tribute to the XX century Parallelepiped Rex.

We propose to organize a rectangular 3D array of 10 000 pixels – light sources - which envelopes the building basic structure.Those pixels are fastened to the nods of a transparent self-sustaining 3D grid of white shiny plastic pipes. Each light source is controlled by computer software.

Additional electric light dramatically changes natural distribution of sunlight reflections and shadows on the cylindrical surface of the pipes during the day time. It gives us an opportunity to manipulate the visual shape of the architectural object and to smoothen its rectangular essence.

The pipe array is rather spacious – it extends from 6 meters and up to 24 meters from the walls of the building's structure. So form/shape modifications could be quite impressive. It is possible to achieve natural cloud-like or biomorphic effects.

The building is crowned by two panoramic view platforms of 228 sq m each – at levels 96.470m and 99.730m.

The lower floors are surrounded by open galleries 6.65m and 7.94m wide along the axes of the building.

Cargo elevators are placed in the middle of central tower structure. Passenger elevators are placed outside the building, away from its NW facade. Fire-escape is organized along NE facade. The facade is designed as a curtain wall of transparent glass DuPont SentryGlas® Plus. The grid pipes are made of optical fiber, they are 50mm in diameter.