Monday, January 15, 2007

Alpha Bank Administration Building - [Athens]

The postmodern administration building of the Alpha Credit Bank (now called the Alpha Bank) constitutes an architectural milestone in the heart of Athens. The while marble-faced elevations and the classicising line, the two-storey arcade and elegant proportions renewed the urban architectural tradition of the Greek capital, harmonising elements of Italian neo-rationalism with the mild character of Athenian neo-classicism. This monumental building expresses the prestige of the pioneering bank that owns it and blends harmoniously into its historic environment.

The study was assigned to architect Nicos Valsamakis after he had received first prize in a competition by invitation in 1978. It was drawn up early in the 1980s, with the collaboration of the Bank’s architect Kostas Manouilidis, and built in two stages between 1985 and 1991.
The distribution of functions between the floors is as follows: The main public areas are laid out on four levels, on the first basement and three overlying floors, around an atrium with a glass ceiling which looks out over the outdoor area.

The layout permits both the visual unification of the three levels as well as their natural lighting. The administrative functions are housed on the other six floors, i.e. between the fourth and the ninth, in what are usually unified areas divided by light mobile partitions and furnishings. The safety deposit boxes are in the fourth basement and in the other two basements are the electrical and mechanical installations, storerooms and archives.

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