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National insurance building  Ethniki
Athen , Greece

National insurance building “Ethniki” 
Athen , Greece

Design phase

Construction phase
2004 – 2006

“Ethniki” Hellenic General Insurance

Mario Botta, Irena Sakellaridou, Morfo Papanikolaou

Total surface
67'858 m2

The new complex for the “Ethniki” Hellenic Insurance Company occupies a wide portion of a block on Syngrou Avenue . The paramount objective was to achieve a form in dialogue with the urban fabric and able to express the idea of light and motion.

The complex comprises corporate administrative offices, a conference and training centre and an underground car-park.

The project springs from the idea of breaking the wall of edifices on the avenue that joins the historical city and the sea. The town morphology determines the typological choices. Instead of a single volume, the project displays two distinct buildings connected by a slightly raised piazza.

The Administration building has a curved shape which opens up to Syngrou Avenue and the view of the Acropolis; it is composed of a ground floor and six storeys. Horizontal slits with windows in recession underscore the geometrical attributes of the edifice. The Office building has an oblong shape, it is composed of ground floor and three storeys and forms a visual barrier on the site’s lateral boundary. The elevated piazza hides the wide congress centre and the 550 vehicle car-park that occupies five underground levels.

The conference training centre constitutes a distinct entity within the complex and functions independently. A linear stair along the curved wall leads to the foyer that occupies two storeys. The conference hall is on the same level, along with the exhibition area, a library and other functions. The curved wall distinguishes this space while a sprinkling of skylight lets natural light in.