Welcoming the Ambitious Hellinikon Development Project

The new face of the former International Airport in Hellenikon Athens is a fact. Hellinikon, situated on the city’s prime coastal location is situated 7 kilometers from the city center Athens. Definitively the most ambitious architectural project ever designed in the modern city that will change the face of the coastal area, bringing thousands of work positions and millions of tourists to Athens.

The former Hellinikon International Airport site was closed in 2001 as the Athens International Airport was relocated.

Athens Greece Hellinikon Development Project II

After a long competition for the privatization of the 6,000 acres project, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED) has approved the bid made by Greek company Lamda Development.

Lamda Development plans include one of the biggest parks in the world as plans for the area are quite impressive: they include a 2 million square meters park, top sports facilities, an upgraded coastal front of 1 kilometer, open to the public and plenty of tourist infrastructures, such as the “Marina Residential Tower”, designed to draw one million additional tourists every year to the Athens costal area.

Athens Greece Hellinikon Development project III

The Lamda Development bid was based on investments from two powerful foreign companies contributing to the project. It is Al Maabar from Abu Dhabi (with a running capital of 55 billion dollars), one of the largest real estate agencies in the Middle East & northern Africa and also the Fosun Group from China, one of the biggest multinational clubs based in Songhai.

Athens Greece Hellinikon Development project IV

The Greek state stands to gain 30% of the profit which will come over the 15% of the Lamda Development returns. Taxation-wise estimates are that VAT returns will be around 2 to 3 billion euros during construction alone, with an additional 1 billion as income tax. Real estate executives estimate that even neighboring realty prices will skyrocket.

Athens Greece Hellinikon Development project V

When the $ 7 billion investment project is completed, 50,000 new work positions are expected to be created. The end result will be nothing less than magnificent, guaranteed by the design of internationally acclaimed architect Norman Foster, an artist who uses his own special brand of style in every project he uses his signature on.

Athens Greece Hellinikon Development project VI

The man who will be appointed for this massive architectural undertaking of the Hellenikon is Norman Robert Foster; an architect with great stature and is an honor to the entire project. It is obvious that such a prestigious architect will be able to design something which will make the coastal suburbs of Athens proud. He is one of the most admired architects in the world. Norman Robert Foster is known for his work in football stadiums, museums and houses of parliament.

Norman Robert Foster Athens Greece

Among his designs are such massive places as the Wembley arena, Barcelona’s stadium Camp Nou and the German Reichstag building. Among his lesser known works are the Cork Tower in Ireland, the Museum of Aviation in Getafe, Spain, the Russia Tower in Moscow, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts and the University of Technology Petronas in Malaysia, for which he won the coveted Aga Khan Award.

The 79 year old architect was born in Reddish, Stockport, England and raised in Manchester. He joined the Royal Air Force and when discharged, he attended the University of Manchester’s School of Architecture. Upon graduating he won a fellowship to the Yale School of Architecture, traveled to America, returned to England and started his own firm, which eventually turned into “Foster + Partners”.

In his illustrious career he has received numerous accolades, including a knighthood in 1990, the Order of Merit in 1997, a life peer-ship as Baron Foster of Thames Bank in 1999, the Sterling Prize (twice) and the Prizker Architecture Prize. Most recently, in 2007, he was given the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the largest award in the world in his field.

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