NEWS

Paradigm of planning and design

The Games’ image depends more on the quality and operation of the Olympic Village and less on the luxuriousness of the sporting facilities, claimed OEK chief Asimakopoulos. Olympic Village 2004 is trying to create a model settlement based on the principles of bioclimatic design, that is, the conservation of energy as well as an improved microclimate within the green area. The 366 apartment buildings and other installations all have a high level of quality specifications including anti-seismic measures and access for the disabled. The ratio of green space per resident is 15.5 square meters, considered unprecedented in Greece. All open spaces (park, green areas and roads) cover an area of about 49.6 hectares, whereas the entire area of housing and auxiliary services covers 15 hectares. Due to delays in the competition, many believe that more funds will be needed in order to carry out OEK’s ambitious goal of achieving «a gradual transition from urban to suburban to natural and agricultural landscapes.» There are no dividing walls, this is the first implementation of this type of construction in Greece, which provides continuous open space solely for pedestrians, at a ratio of 63 square meters per resident. Based on OEK, 63 percent of the village’s surface area will be solely given over to pedestrians, 14 percent will be covered by buildings and 25 percent to vehicles (roads, parking). The Olympic Village is being built at Lekanes in Acharnes, west of Athens in the foothills of Mt Parnitha on 124 hectares. After the Games it will be used as a model settlement for workers’ housing through OEK, on whose behalf the property was expropriated. The design provides for 366 apartment buildings (2,292 apartments) and 19 different types of buildings. Most apartments will be 102-115 square meters; all will have two bathrooms, large living rooms and wide verandas. There will be 75 apartment houses with two floors, 262 with three floors and 42 with four floors; 1,316 of the apartments will have three bedrooms and 976 will have two; these apartments are slightly smaller, at 84-97 square meters. Every apartment will have a storeroom and parking space in the basement. The some 17,300 athletes expected at the Olympics and Paralympics in 2004 will find the buildings adapted to include 8,896 bedrooms. Greece’s obligation to the IOC is for 8,800 bedrooms. After the Games are over, the bedrooms will be renovated to comprise the 2,292 apartments; the renovations are included in the contractors’ work now being carried out in the village’s housing zone. OEK officials claim that in this way the homes will be able to be used immediately, to avoid any squatting or general deterioration of the environment. The residential zone will also include common areas such as neighborhood stores and cafes, day nurseries, schools, a health clinic and sports venues. Asimakopoulos also drew attention to works aimed at excavating, conserving and highlighting Hadrian’s Aqueduct. The Council of State has forbidden the government from building a school on a site in the suthern Athens municipality of Ilioupolis which is due to be reforested, court sources said yesterday. The site at Diana, Aghia Marina, is based on 9.2 hectares of former forest land on the slopes of Mount Pendeli and is therefore protected land, the court ruled.