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Renovation project for the American Embassy in Athens commenced, with 342.7mln dollars

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The largest independent building project in Athens has officially started. The foundation ceremony for one of the most emblematic buildings in the capital, took place yesterday and was hosted by the US Ambassador in Greece, Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt and the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Giorgos Kaminis.

The event’s symbolic background was a bulldozer and shovels with the American and the Greek flags standing on both ends. The ceremony was simple, with Mr. Pyatt noting that this will be a 5-year project for the upgrade of the sixty-year-old building, while he expressed his appreciation for the BauHaus School, which undertook the construction of the existing building on Vas. Sofias Ave.

Mr. Kaminis wished for the completion of the project and he renewed his appointment for the inauguration ceremony of the renovated Embassy. The ceremony proceeded with the traditional sanctification and the first shovels by Mr. Pyatt and Mr. Kaminis.

The renovation works

The renovation works, according to information provided by the Embassy, ​​will cost 342.7mln dollars and will last approximately 5 years (the contract was signed in 2017). The completion of the project is expected in 2022.

The project is signed by Ann Beha Architects, while the general contractor is Caddell Construction Company. According to ypodomes.com sources from the Embassy, the subcontractor of the project in Greece is Redex, a company under Copelouzos Group.

The target is the refurbishment of the Embassy, in order to meet high security standards. The project includes the restoration of many original design features of the building, including the central lobby, the unique interior staircases as well as the marble facade.

The project will be carried out in 4 phases. When completed, the Embassy will have a renewed exterior, upgraded electromechanical systems and a renovated building annex.

The innovation of the project is the construction of a new space that will function as a natural connection between the two existing buildings of the Embassy. A total of 620 Americans, Greeks and other nationalities are expected to work during the construction phase, among which, about 500 will be locals. According to estimates, the project will be contributing approximately 1.2mln dollars a month to the Greek economy.

A project with LEED SILVER certification

Tthe project has already been registered to be certified by LEED Silver (US Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). This means that the project will deploy many “green” practices both during construction and operation.

For example, rainwater will be reused for watering to reduce water costs. The construction is also designed to maximize the use of domestic materials for the improvement of the project’s cost efficiency.

A historic building

The US Embassy in Greece, located on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue in Athens, was built by the architect Walter Gropius between 1959 and 1961 and is inspired by Parthenon’s architecture.

The new building was inaugurated on September 6, 1961 by the US Ambassador in Greece, at the time, Mr. Ellis Briggs with the presence of the then Greek PM, Mr. Konstantinos Karamanlis, members of the cabinet and the Archbishop of Athens.

Previously, the US embassy had been housed in an old neoclassical four-storey building located at the intersection of Herod Atticus Rd. and Vas. Sofias Ave., which was later demolished to give its place in a new multi-storey building. Many years later, in 20013, a new building and a new green space was added in order to meet the Embassy’s needs.

 

Nikos Karagiannis-ypodomes.com

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