Bennetts Associates and Divercity Architects’ world class Syggrou scheme in Athens

This landmark commercial scheme in the centre of Athens is now fully occupied. Comprising two eight-storey buildings, the first achieved LEED Platinum, through close collaboration between the developer, new owner, and professional team. Platinum exceeds the project’s target of Gold and is the highest possible LEED certification for sustainable buildings internationally.

Designed by Bennetts Associates and Divercity Architects for developer Dimand S.A., the 15,600 m² office complex sets a new benchmark for workplace in Athens and Greece, with its high-quality, sustainable and people-centric design. To deliver this world-class project, Bennetts Associates took an approach that balances expression of modernity with a celebration of the city’s rich history, climate and stunning light to create a design that is appropriately rooted.

The prominent corner site is located on one of Athens’ key thoroughfares, Leoforos Syggrou, which links the city centre with the sea. The scheme enjoys stunning views to the Acropolis, Mount Lycabettus, the mountains, the city centre, and the sea. It also complements other significant architecture in the area, including the Onassis Stegi Cultural Centre and the Hellenic General Insurance HQ, helping to further cement the district as a major commercial and cultural destination for the city.

At the heart of the architectural vision is a modern reinterpretation of classical design through elements such as the ‘stoa’ (a colonnade that grounds and connects both buildings to the context) and the ‘peristyle’ (a framed entrance shared by both buildings with a new garden at its heart.) Striking sculpted rooflines deliberately draw the eye of those passing by on Leoforos Syggrou, while elegant facades of locally sourced white marble fins capture the best of the city’s natural light while providing ample shade, driving energy efficiency and targeting lower embodied carbon.

Aiming to maximise passive design, the design strategy focuses on working with rather than against the local climate. Measures include limiting the amount of glass to 40% of the facade, full shading to all areas, an innovative low-energy air conditioning system and green roofs measuring 1,100 m² in total. A full Life Cycle Assessment was undertaken to evaluate and lower the scheme’s embodied carbon and overall environmental footprint.

In addition to the green roofs, biophilia plays a strong role elsewhere to further enhance biodiversity and support occupier health and wellbeing. The complex incorporates two planted terraces and a c.650 m² lush green garden that references traditional Greek courtyards and creates an oasis of calm and comfort for employees.

Dimand S.A, comments:

“We take immense pride in the successful completion of the Syggrou project in the heart of Athens. Achieving this milestone, we are not only thrilled by the LEED certifications which establish new sustainability benchmarks, but also by the way this project seamlessly marries modern design with the vibrant essence of Athens. Our development in collaboration with Bennetts Associates and Divercity Architects reflects our commitment to enhancing our city’s architectural and environmental landscape, and we look forward to contributing further to Athens’ growth as a major commercial and cultural destination.”

Julian Lipscombe, director at Bennetts Associates, said:

“It has been both a privilege and a career highlight to design this landmark scheme in one of the world’s most iconic cities. What a joy to work with the breathtaking vistas and the exhilarating Athenian light. We aimed to blend a contemporary expression with classical influences to create a bold, high-end, and sustainable scheme as our contribution to the city’s extraordinary architectural legacy. It’s been incredible to hear positive reactions locally, with many saying the scheme is “quintessentially Athenian” – the highest accolade possible! It is a proud moment to see both buildings finished and awarded the highest environmental accreditations. This is testament to the expertise and pioneering approach of the team. The Syggrou project is the first of what we hope will be many more in Greece.”

The wider project team comprised contractor Ballian Techniki, structural engineer Pagonis-Polychronopoulos-Kinatos, landscape designer H. Pangalou & Associates and sustainability consultant D-Carbon.

Click here to gain insights into the design and construction process, and learn about the unique features that make this project a remarkable addition to the Athenian landscape.