The project SynAthina is a small facility, open for meetings, workshops and small projects held by volunteers residents of Athens, who wish to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in their city. Thanks to the prosperous collaboration of the creative community of Imagine The City with the “Network of Citizens” of the mayor’s office, with a number of services of the Municipality of Athens and with private companies, a small facility on Athinas Str., which was until recently ignored, has now been recognized as a new potential for a breath of fresh air in the downgraded Varvakios Square. The proposal stems from the need for the digital platform of SynATHINA to have a physical space as well, allowing active Athenian residents to meet, network and collaborate with each other for the advancement of their city.
The venture received earnest support from big companies such as ΑΚΤΩΡ Facility Management, IsoCern, Οικοστέγες και Bright that heartily offered material and expertise to facilitate the realization of a beneficent project for the improvement of existing urban buildings according to the triptych of sustainable development (environment – economics – society). Amongst the development projects one can include the addition of interior cellulose insulation (80% of which is made from recycled paper), placing a green roof on the building, the use of environmental-friendly lights and the application of eco-paints low in Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). As far as furnishing the space is concerned, the team utilized old furniture that were forgotten until recently in public storage spaces. What’s more, free wi-fi connection will be available in SynATHINA. Through an open call to the network of Imagine The City, the architectural research and overview of the project was undertaken voluntarily by new architects Costis Sykiotis, Sevasti Vardouli, Alexandros Zomas and Mara Papavasiliou (www.micromega.gr). The exterior of the building follows the design proposal of Irini Dimou, Natassa Ioannidi, Iro Kotsioubi and Maria Tallarou.
Submitted proposals for the exterior design:
This project is one of the suggestions submitted to the Municipality of Athens by members of the network of Imagine the City, aiming to reinvigorate the look and feel of Athinas Str. Main focus is laid on SynATHINA becoming an example and a starting point for a series of creative, low-cost interventions for the aesthetic and practical improvement of both Varvakios Square and the Metro passageway on Athinas Str. The project intends on one hand to tackle negative experiences in the social sphere which affect the area to a great extent and on the other hand, to create a pole of attraction for the wider community to participate in the regeneration process.