By Eleni Bota
The consultation has started for the government park that is planned to be built on the PYRKAL property in the Dafni-Ymitto area. The aim is to organize and make the best use of the property, so that it becomes a “Government Park” for the relocation of the services of 9 Ministries in reconstructed listed buildings and in new buildings.
The total of 127 buildings of the ministries that will be transferred, of which some are housed in premises leased by the Hellenic State (107 buildings) and others in its own buildings (20 buildings), are currently scattered in the Attica basin, with these being concentrated especially in the center of Athens, but also in Piraeus, Marousi and Cholargos. The ministries to be transferred are: Finance, Development, Labour, Rural Development, Health, Tourism, Culture, Interior and Environment & Energy.
In addition, the Public Private Property Development Fund will be transferred to the same site, as well as the Hellenic Holdings and Property Company, the Public Real Estate Company and the Independent Public Revenue Authority.
How will the area be transformed?
The project envisages the creation of a hyperlocal Central Administration Park – “Government Park”, with a total area of 154,797.34 square meters, surrounded by extensive green spaces and cultural activities under the name “Andreas Lentakis”, within the Municipality of Dafni – Ymittos.
In the single area of the property, it is also planned to ensure unstructured space and the creation of a green park and a network of shared and public spaces, in order to meet, as far as possible, the specifications of a modern urban regeneration/development, but also a modern workplace, designed with the axis of maximum energy efficiency and the least possible maintenance.
The property in question has a long history, since it has been home from 1874 until today to the industrial complex for the production of weapons and ammunition of PYRKAL, owned by the company HELLENIC DEFENSE SYSTEMS ABEE (EAS ABEE). Despite the fact that the buildings within the industrial complex are not classified as preserved, a study has been made of a proposal for the classification or not, as preserved, of the buildings located within the property – factory “PYRKAL” (Arca Creations, October 2021) , which is currently under evaluation. The property is an area with a particularly strong cultural element of the modern industrial heritage of Athens.
Today, the entire facility operates at a reduced capacity, with the result that a large part of the building volume remains inactive and shows significant damage due to poor maintenance. The proposed spatial development, which is achieved through the regeneration of the PYRKAL site and its transformation into a Government Public Administration Park, was based on the following basic planning principles:
• The creation of a Government park – a green lung within the residential fabric of the Municipal Unit of Ymittos and in an extension of the mountainous mass of Ymittos. The single and extensive free public space that is created, combines and constitutes a network with the existing public green spaces and is joined with them by a network of bicycle paths and pedestrian paths. With the proposed development, the environmental footprint and the quality of life of the residents of the area of the Municipality of Dafni – Ymittos and of the neighboring residential areas to the east are substantially improved.
• Highlighting the industrial cultural capital of the country. It is proposed to preserve and highlight preserved facades and buildings of PYRKAL that reflect the historical path of the industrial architectural heritage, as well as the reuse of the existing shells and their transformation into modern facilities that will accommodate public and community-beneficial functions (administration, culture, sports, etc. .etc.).
• The creation of a modern administrative center within walking distance of the historical center of Athens. This development is expected to provide significant benefits, since it will ensure the upgrading of the public sector services offered by removing the current fragmented services and their concentration with significant improvements in the time and quality of service to citizens.
• The use of the latest technologies in the construction and operation of the new buildings. The principles of bioclimatic planning and sustainable development are incorporated, with the use of renewable energy sources and “smart” energy systems, with the aim of reducing the energy footprint.
• The intervention in transport networks with an emphasis on the principles of sustainable mobility. With the proposed measures, public transport is strengthened, mainly by adapting the operational characteristics of metro line 2 to fully respond to the demand that will arise. This is possible by using the existing infrastructure and improving it by building a new exit on the property, connected by an underground pedestrian tunnel.
In addition, existing bus lines are strengthened or new bus lines are added to directly connect the property to the areas surrounding it at acceptable time distances for bus use, while existing lines are locally extended to directly connect to the property. In the long term, metro line 5 is being built, in direct connection with the property. Mobility by soft means is enhanced by promoting the already approved metropolitan cycleway network, which adjoins the property connecting it in all directions.
Pedestrian access conditions are drastically improved with the construction of sidewalks, light traffic roads, sidewalks and crosswalks based on current specifications and requirements along all connections with transportation networks and reference points of the property perimeter. The use of private cars is controlled and discouraged by limiting the number of parking spaces offered on the perimeter of the property, both by removing them by widening the sidewalks and managing them with a controlled parking system, which will ensure the parking of residents as an absolute priority. Finally, the nuisance from the major roads is limited by the traffic degradation of a section of Iliopoleos Street in contact with the property.
What will be built?
From the area of approximately 77 acres, 50% of the total area, which is proposed to be occupied by the said urban center use, 40% will be assigned as a contribution to land for the creation of common and public spaces that will connect and essentially expand spatially, but also functionally the free green space. Public spaces include existing buildings, which are expected to be declared heritage sites, which are intended to function as museums, conference rooms, etc.
The buildable area that will eventually result in the area of the property under consideration will concern approximately 46.5 hectares out of the total of 155 hectares, i.e. approximately 30% of the total area, while it is noted that this area includes both the new buildings , as well as part of the existing preserves, as valuable industrial shells, which will be preserved and restored. In the second Spatial Unit, which likewise amounts to 50% of the total area, the general category of land use is defined as Open spaces-Urban Green and is assigned as a broad social equipment in the city, which includes communal and public spaces.
Due to the size of the area, which amounts to approximately 77 square meters, it is expected to function as a hyperlocal green area of city park level. This free public space, in addition to the environmental upgrade it will bring to the wider area and the upgrade of the quality of life of the residents, is expected to be an important part of a continuous green network that will connect the residential areas of Ymittos through the Aris Alexandrou Park, the Square Heroes Polytechnic, Ilias Ilios Square, the new Urban Green Open Space of the “Andreas Lentakis” Government Park and the Gymnastics Academy, with the central area of the Municipality in Dafni, where the metro stop is also located.
In the zone designated for the use of Open Spaces – Urban Green, existing buildings are preserved, which are expected to be declared preserved, within which it is proposed to accommodate the uses of catering, recreation and cultural facilities.
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