With an €8 billion investment, Athens’ Hellinikon airport is being transformed into a stunning coastal park
Redundant city airports provide some of the most tantalising real estate opportunities — witness Berlin’s Tempelhof or Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport, both of which offer up vast new swathes of cityscape now that their final flights have departed. In Athens, the Hellinikon development is set to transform the city’s old Hellinikon Airport into a new urban park. Once the country’s main international hub, the airport closed in 2001 and subsequently hosted some of the venues for the 2004 Olympics. Now an €8 billion investment will create a huge new public space, the Metropolitan Park, alongside new homes, shops and hotels.
The old Hellinikon Airport will be transformed into an exciting new economic hub for the region
This is one of Europe’s largest development projects and, fittingly, it will result in the creation of one of the biggest coastal parks in the world. The project is a collaboration between Foster + Partners, ARUP Engineers and US firm Charles Anderson Landscape Architects, working alongside many leading Greek design studios, including Alexandros N Tombazis and Associates and doxiadis+.
The centrepiece of the development will be the 2,000,000sq m park, which will accommodate historic buildings and features wherever possible. This revitalised stretch of coastline will also include a 1km beach, hotels, sports facilities and housing, with a new world-class aquarium and marina, all signposted by a residential tower. The investors Latsis Group, Fosun and Eagle Hills have joined forces to create one of Europe’s largest urban development projects.