Hellenikon Metroplitain Park

Twenty kilometers from Athens on the Greek coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the former Hellenikon airport closed in 2001 and was used to build the Olympic village for the 2004 summer Games. The Greek Minister for the Environment sponsored an open international competition to find the “21st century urban park of exceptional scale and remarkable design”. The program included housing, offices and social services and a park with “green areas, cultural, sports and leisure facilities” on a 550-hectare site. The brief asked for the new urban development to generate enough income to finance the park and called for the restoration of the Saarinen main terminal built in 1960.

In April 2004, the competition results proclaimed winner the Iterae/OLM team, which will transform the airport site into an urban park, the “biggest park in Europe” as announced by the Minister of Environment on February 4th 2005.

The project is about developing a design process and a time sequence strategy based on rainwater collection and topographic modifications. A series of six corridors of 200 to 300 meters wide is established to link the existing city on the upper level to the coastline sixty meters below. These corridors or “softscapes” integrate a new drainage system as well as a road network, bicycle paths and walkways.

The project focuses on the construction of a new “ground”, in both a formal and a theoretical way. The goal is to generate the Hellenikon Park from discreet topographic modifications based on former water creeks channels destroyed by the construction of the airport in 1950.


Winner of the competition


SERERO ARCHITECTS / OLM landscape architects


Former International Airport, Athens, Greece


550 ha


International competition



Maitre d'ouvrage

Greek Ministry of the Environment

Coût du projet

400 M€ HT

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