project: ATH_UPTO35 Housing
location: Athens, Greece
surface: 5655 m2
status: competition entry
project team: AVP_arhitekti, Juan Nunez, Heidi Kasper, Efrain Velez
Can Student Housing become a prototype of future Urban and Sustainable Community housing experiences? We see our proposal as a way to capture the imagination and energy of today’s college student and inspire them with the possibilities for developing sustainable buildings and sustainable communities in Athens and all over the globe. The concept for this housing project is that of an urban tree house. Tree houses are cool places that defy gravity and bring the occupants closer to nature. This housing project forms a protective oasis, a hideaway that refreshes the spirit, and is designed to delight and inspire. The proposal is a modular system that can adjust to the parcel shape and size, in order to comply with the building regulations of Athens. The foundation of the system is a stem which contains the vertical circulation, and all vertical systems. The living units branch off the stem and vertical and horizontal green screens surround the building to create a protective canopy. Laundry, mechanical space and storage are located in the basement. The footprint at this level is kept to a minimum to reduce the amount of required excavation and associated cost.
The building seeks out a symbiosis of nature and technology. At once, using ancient natural techniques to heat and cool the building while fusing these with forward thinking technologies that are on display for the students to engage with and learn from. Athens has little rain, snow is rare and summers are hot and relatively dry. The project is designed specifically for that dry hot climate.
The neighborhood currently has no green areas. The proposal provides horizontal and vertical greenery and shares it with the city, providing both environmental and psychological benefits. These gardens can also be connected to create a larger community garden and park like setting if desired. In addition many of the roof top social terraces can be connected thus creating a public social area for students.