CITIZEN SERVICE CENTER (KEP), MUNICIPALITY OF ATHENS – VICTORIA SQUARE
A new, different Citizen Service Centre opened its doors in Victoria Square, proving the importance of architectural design in public buildings.
The main idea was the creation of a functional and visually balanced space that respects employees and citizens, and creates a new relationship between them.
The space layout was based on the creation of well-proportioned, functional and pleasant workspaces, within an environment that has clearly demarcated functions. Special attention was given to the reception, which directs visitors for their faster and better service. The reception is also the state’s “face” towards the public. The reception directs citizens towards the main service space and the secondary service space (signature certifications etc). Behind these spaces and inaccessible to the public are the request-processing office, the manager’s office, an archive and a new accessible WC. The interior was mainly painted dark blue, a color that induces relaxation and concentration. The same color was used for the ceiling, from which a construction of white aluminum slats and linear lights was suspended at a lower level. Each working area is demarcated by this suspended ceiling, on which the light sources are installed.
The repetitive triangle motif is the main decorative pattern both in the interior and on the facade. The triangle is a reference to the first urban plan of the city of Athens; thanks to its simple design, it can become the sign by which the Center becomes recognizable to citizens. On the wall, behind the service counter, triangles form a map of the area overlaid with a photograph of the characteristic Victoria train station. Built in the 1930’s, the station is a local landmark and a listed building.
The design by A2 Architects redefines the relationship between citizens and civil services, but also reevaluates the relationship between civil service workers and their workspace.
The EPIKYKLOS team realized the project with absolute respect to the architectural design. Compliance to strict time and budget frameworks and the provision of high construction quality prove that excellent partnerships can be successful in the public sector too.