"The Ellinikon" Project
"The Ellinikon" Project
It was produced by architect and civil engineer Nikolaos Salvarlis in 1918 in the Hasani area and included 2 terminals - the western for Olympic Airways and the eastern for international flights. There was also a terminal for the United States military base of Elliniko. After it shut down due to the 2004 Olympic Games in the area, 2 baseball fields were built, 1 indoor tennis court, a fencing room, and a canoe-kayak slalom center.
Moreover, a Athens Tram depot of Athens and OASA (Urban Transport) was established on the same site. Also found at the former airport is the National Meteorological Service and the Athens and Macedonia Air Traffic Control Centers of the Civil Aviation Authority. In April 2011, the Olympic Airlines Museum was founded at the West Terminal.
Leaving the past behind and coming to 2020. 19 years after the airport was closed and 15 years after the Olympic Games (where part of the airport was used), the time had come to carry out a major project to transform the Elliniko into a Metropolitan Park.
This is a large project involving the conversion of a 2,000-acre former airfield into a green and recreational urban park. It will be one of the largest in the world, bigger than London's Hyde Park (1,400 acres), extending from the coastal front to Vouliagmenis Avenue, connecting Alimos with Glyfada and Argyroupoli and Elliniko with the sea so that the inhabitants of these municipalities have easy access to the enterprise.
The Metropolitan Park will have free entrance to the public and will include many types of projects. Firstly, there will be the creation of a large green space - an invaluable flora treasure that will stimulate the microclimate of the area giving a particular intensity to the surrounding environment. Secondly, the development of sports facilities and stadiums to promote athletic activities while utilizing components of the landing/take-off lanes as stretches for walks, sports and leisure activities. Subsequently, there will be an upgrading of its coastal front, on the one hand, with the implementation of significant port projects aiming at the creation of a new beach with free access of 1 km or more.
On the other hand, we will see the construction of various hotels, sports, shopping malls, and residential facilities. The former airport will also be appropriated in a variety of ways by creating educational institutions, student accommodation, as well as health and research institutions. Also, the largest shopping mall of Attica will be created in addition to other supermarkets, hotels, and other centers (i.e. golf courses, conference centers, and other settlements).
For the main building of the former airport, designed by architect Eero Saarinen and a great example of modern architecture, there are separate plans. It will serve as an exhibition space, with 27 auxiliary buildings built around it. At the same time, there will be a sculpture park designed to become a world-renowned exhibition with an emphasis on local artists and a Museum of Art.
Finally, a casino resort will be erected in the form of a 200 m high and 45 story skyscraper. It will possess a 5-star hotel with 1,200 rooms and suites, 1,500 sqm casino, 800 sqm of which will cover the playing rooms. The rest of the square footage will be used as casino supports and conveniences, conference rooms, thalassotherapy centers, etc.
This project hopes to create the first integrated tourist casino resort in Europe. Through these premises, it is foreseen that there will be a vacationist boom in Athens all year round.
The creation of the Metropolitan Park in Elliniko is promising to be a breath-taking project. A major investment venture that will stimulate Greece and especially Athens, further highlighting it as a city of distinct cultural interest.