the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city

deep diving into the ellinikon DEVELOPMENT in athens

 

The Ellinikon is making headlines as one of Europe’s largest urban regeneration projects currently underway in Athens, Greece. Rooted in the principles of a ’15-minute city,’ the €8 billion masterplan is spearheaded by LAMDA Development and offers a comprehensive 360-degree experience to its residents, tenants, guests, and employees. This transformation will revive the obsolete site of the Athens International Airport, which operated from 1938 until 2001, before the Marina was developed to host the Sailing Centre for Athens’ 2004 Summer Olympics.

 

In this new development, The Ellinikon will combine residential spaces, shopping, workplaces, leisure, entertainment, and cultural activities, all centered around a sprawling two million-square-meter park. The plan brings together international architecture studios including Foster and Partners, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Aedas, SAOTA, Oppenheim Architecture, and Sasaki, alongside Greek firms such as 314 Architecture Studio and Bobotis+Bobotis Architects. Read on as we deep dive into the progress and timeline for The Ellinikon, as well as the architects bringing this ambitious project to life. 

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
3.5 km coastal front | rendering © Sasaki

 

 

progress on the 15-minute smart city IN GREECE

 

Just six months after commencing works on the project, in June 2021, LAMDA Development completed the first part of The Ellinikon Park, The Ellinikon Experience Park. The project spans 75,000 sqm and is set in the Aviation Hangars Precinct, surrounding three of the former airport’s historic, listed hangars. Sasaki is leading the design alongside local landscape architect doxiadis+, with over 900 trees and 80,000 regional plants already planted. The park features rain gardens for stormwater management, uses natural materials, and repurposes existing surfaces for benches and paths. It includes an interactive fountain with choreographed lights and music, an outdoor sports area, and an accessible children’s playground. A Zen Garden also highlights water elements and native flora. The project will eventually grow to become the largest coastal park in Europe, covering 2,000,000 sqm, with more than 31,000 trees from 86 different species and over 1 million plants of Mediterranean varieties.

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Olympic Square | rendering © Sasaki

 

 

Meanwhile, The Ellinikon Experience Center, which opened in April 2022, serves as a space where visitors can discover, in-depth, the redevelopment project through more than 22 unique, natural, and immersive technological exhibits and digital activities. The playful discovery is divided into five thematic zones that help demonstrate the project’s ambitious plans: Living a New Era, Living in Nature, Living the Future, Living Smart, and Living by the Sea. The Ellinikon Experience Center is open daily for all ages, from 9am to 9pm, with free reservations through the website. Another part of the project opening this year is the AMEA building, a 11,500 sqm-acre structure that will house four associations for people with disabilities in four separate, interconnected buildings. 

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
The Ellinikon Experience Park | rendering © Sasaki

 

 

phase one of the ellinikon is scheduled for 2026

 

LAMDA has set a target for completion in 2026 for many of the developments in The Ellinikon. The Riviera Tower, designed by Foster + Partners, is already LEED Gold pre-certified and targets completion in 2026, at which time it will become Greece’s first skyscraper and its latest major landmark. The Tower will feature a climate-conscious and future-proof design, wrapped in an advanced biophilic exterior with sustainably designed interiors across all one- to five-bedroom residences and penthouse apartments spanning 50 floors. Next is The Riviera Galleria by Kengo Kuma, a unique destination for premium brands situated at the heart of the Athenian Riviera alongside the coast’s newest residential enclave. The project will feature top Greek and foreign designers’ boutiques, haute couture, and high-street fashion. Dining options will include award-winning restaurants, elegant cafés, and bistros, and a LEED precertification at a GOLD level has already been attained.

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Park Rise | rendering © BIG

 

 

Following The Riviera Galleria is Little Athens, the latest residential neighborhood of The Ellinikon. After the successful marketing and sale of more than 350 coastal front residential units, LAMDA unveiled this exciting new neighborhood that will bring approximately 1,115 residences and 110 neighborhood retail units to The Ellinikon’s smart urban ecosystem. Little Athens comprises five residential complexes. ‘Park Rise’, a 12-story, 50 meter-high, 88-residence building designed by Bjarke Ingels Group – BIG; ‘Pavilion Terraces’, a development of seven six-stories by Greek firm 314 Architecture Studio, hosting 156 one- to five-bedroom residences, four of which will also feature ground-floor retail; and ‘Promenade Heights’ by 314, which features nine circular and elliptical five-floor and 1-4 bedroom buildings divided by a central lush green space that connects directly to The Ellinikon Park. Layers of warm colors, textured walls, and terrazzo give the project a modern feeling of home.

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Park Rise | rendering © BIG

 

 

Up next is the ‘Atrium Gardens’ by Deda & Architects, an iconic complex of organic building formations designed to stand out and have direct access to the main pedestrian street and easy connection to the many facilities of The Ellinikon. The buildings also feature neighborhood retail areas at ground level to cater to its residents. And finally, ‘Trinity Gardens’ by Tsolakis Architects, which is made up of three buildings, with easy access to Little Athens shops, The Ellinikon Park, and only 100 m from the sea.

 

ellinikon-update-designboom-full-9

 

Meanwhile, Beijing-based architects at Aedas, jointly with Greek practice A&M Architects, are leading the sprawling Ellinikon Commercial Hub, which will become the largest retail, entertainment and business complex in Greece — and one of the biggest in Southern Europe — spanning over 185,000 sqm. This area will be divided between workspaces, a retail park, a mixed-use tower, and what will become the largest shopping mall in Greece. The developers envision this hybrid model to stand as the ‘shopping center of the future.’ The Ellinikon Mall spans over 155,000 sqm and is capped by a futuristic tower with spectacular views; it will achieve LEED Gold Certification – the first such accreditation for a mall in Greece. Moreover, thee Vouliagmenis Mall’s Retail Park will share the same superior connectivity to both central Athens and the Attica suburbs and will offer a collection of large-scale big box retail units for everyday needs. Aedas is also developing the Vouliagmenis Mixed-Use Tower (MUT) alongside local studios IDOM and Aeter Architects

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Riviera Tower | rendering ©  Foster + Partners

 

 

Other areas include a strip of Cove Residences behind a row of waterfront Cove Villas. The Residences — designed by two prominent Greek architects, ISV Architects and Bobotis+Bobotis — will consist of 115 luxury apartments and duplexes, complete with landscaped gardens and courtyards, rooftop terraces, and private swimming pools for the ground floor units and penthouses. The Villas will be more limited in number, with just twenty-eight plots to be built. This more exclusive collection of homes will be designed by a selection of world-renowned architects — including SAOTAOppenheim Architecture, and Tombazis & Associates Architects — and will be supervised by Foster and Partners to ensure cohesion within the overall masterplan. Beyond Phase One, LAMDA Development, along with TEMES, announced in May 2023 that the Mandarin Oriental will debut a new destination on the coastal front of The Ellinikon. Set to open in summer 2027, the investment includes a five-star hotel with 123 rooms and suites, along with 17 luxury branded residences.

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Riviera Tower | rendering ©  Foster + Partners

 

 

PRESERVING HERITAGE AND emphasizing connectivity

 

The Ellinikon will accommodate a Cultural Route to connect all major 14 monuments of great historical interest. Stretching 12 km across the 6.2 million sqm site, the route will be open and accessible to all, with seating for visitors, signage, lighting, and planting. Additionally, the development will feature a 3.5m coastal front and a 1 km long beach open to everyone, in addition to 50 km of walkways and bike lanes. Emphasis is on electric transportation, which is in line with the project’s overall ethos of creating a cleaner and sustainable environment for the future. The old terminal building, designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen in the 1960s, will be adaptively-reused as the centerpiece of a grand event space.

 

ellinikon-update-designboom-full-10

Riviera Tower | rendering ©  Foster + Partners

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Pavilion Terraces | rendering © 314 Architecture Studio

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Pavilion Terraces | rendering © 314 Architecture Studio

ellinikon-update-designboom-full-5

Pavilion Terraces | rendering © 314 Architecture Studio

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Riviera Galleria | rendering © Kengo Kuma

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Cove Villas | rendering courtesy The Ellinikon

the ellinikon takes shape — what we know so far about greece's 15-minute smart city
Cove Villas | rendering courtesy The Ellinikon

ellinikon-update-designboom-full-4

Cove Villas | rendering courtesy The Ellinikon

 

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Park Rise | rendering © BIG
Park Rise | rendering © BIG
Park Rise | rendering © BIG
Park Rise | rendering © BIG
Riviera Tower | rendering ©  Foster + Partners
Riviera Tower | rendering ©  Foster + Partners
Riviera Galleria | rendering © Kengo Kuma
Riviera Galleria | rendering © Kengo Kuma
Riviera Galleria | rendering © Kengo Kuma
Riviera Galleria | rendering © Kengo Kuma
Cove Villas | rendering courtesy The Ellinikon
Cove Villas | rendering courtesy The Ellinikon
rendering © Sasaki
rendering © Sasaki
rendering © Sasaki
rendering © Sasaki

project info:

 

project title: The Ellinikon | @the_ellinikon_official

location: Athens, Greece

developer: LAMDA Development | @lamdagroupdevelopment

architecture: Foster and Partners, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Kengo Kuma and Associates, Aedas, ISV Architects, Bobotis+Bobotis, SAOTA, Oppenheim Architecture, Tombazis & Associates Architects, Sasaki, 314 Architecture Studio, Deda & Architects, Tsolakis Architects, IDOM, Aeter Architects, A&M Architects, doxiadis+

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