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papalampropoulos syriopoulou

Hortus Conclusus

Status: Architectural Competition/ DISTINCTION / The Region of Western Attica
Program: Administration building of the Region of Western Attica
Year: 2018
Location: Elefsina
Architect: Leonidas Papalampropoulos, Georgia Syriopoulou

Team: Tsampika Manou, Yiannis Aivatzidis



The proposal for the new administration building focuses on three main axes:

-  Primarily, the preservation of the spatial qualities and the inherent atmosphere of the place which arises from the lush vegetation. The site emerges as a garden in the becoming.

-  Secondly, the new building of the Region is highlighted as an opportunity to re-assemble the dispersed public space of the city through the creation of a new “urban artifact”.

-  Finally, the historic memory of the city of Elefsina that is expressed through:

a.  the symbolic semiology of the place which is traced typologically in the architecture of the ancient city with the gesture of enclosure, signifying spatially the symbolic transition into the space of the “other”.

b. the contrasting scales of the urban elements as an outcome of the co-existence of fragments of Elefsina’s past.

Design Objectives


The proposal adopts the typological reference of the enclosed garden (hortus conclusus) as a spatial metaphor of paradise and a symbolic connection to the mythological space of the Nysion Field.

The new building reformulates the topology of the existing vegetation in order to define and signify an internal public garden, a landscape-sanctuary of rest, promenade, meditation and memory amidst undefined boundaries, vague spaces and fragmented public spaces in the junction of the city with the industrial area.

The new building engulfs a social space offered to the citizens for the reinforcement of the local society while the preservation of the site’s topography refers to the historical landscape of Elefsina, long destroyed by the industrial activity of the recent past.


Internal view of the garden entrance


The design addresses the several scales of the city. The gesture of enclosure shapes a building-landmark in the urban scale with a robust visual identity. At the same time, the manipulation of the skin and the allocation of the functions address the scale of the adjacent neighborhood and the pedestrian experience since the facades act as semi-transparent filters that allow views of the micro-scale inside the building.

The new public garden can function both independently and in conjunction with the office spaces thus becoming a meeting space for the visitors and the employees alike. Two ramps on the external sides of the building cut through its mass and allow for public access to the garden via mild slopes on the inside.


The main entrance to the administration building is signified as a recession of the mass that welcomes the visitor with the view of the garden, providing access to the office spaces, the public functions (auditorium, exhibitions, café) and the garden itself.


View of the openair amphitheatre in the garden.

The main entrance.


The building is separated into two wings on either side of the main entrance: the office spaces and the public spaces thus allowing for their independent function.

The public functions (foyer, café, exhibition space, amphiteatre) have immediate access to the garden in order to extend their operation outdoors and a secondary access on Kiouri str.

The office spaces have a secondary public access for the Dep. of Transport and a secondary access for employees only both on Tzaferi str.

Functional organisation

The public wing.

The administration wing.

The administration wing.

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