Hellenikon has been the site of Athens’ airport from the late 1930’s to 2001. Following the translocation of the airport to its present site in Spata, approximately 550 Ha of public land, next to the sea, within the Athens Metro area, have been open to reprogramming. A long process has lead to a 2011 development tender announcement for the long-term lease of the property. The tender included preliminary design, and was won in 2014 by LAMDA Development. With an expected outlay of €8 Bn, Hellinikon is the largest development currently in Europe, is expected to create contribute to GDP growth by 2%, 70.000 new jobs, and add 1.000.000 tourists annually to the Athens metro region.
A major component of the development is the new Athens Metropolitan Park. Long a dream for the area, per the state development guidelines the Park is to extend over 200 Ha, another 150 Ha approximately to be earmarked for streets, squares, neighborhood parks and small public spaces. This makes the Park the largest currently under development in Europe. doxiadis+ is the local landscape architect, the lead landscape architect being Charles Anderson / WERK.
The Park extends from the foothills of mount Hymettos to the sea, and along most of the length of the old runways. A new axis leading from inland to the sea crosses two of the diagonal runways, to form the main axes of the Park.Seven different programmatic precincts will ensure a diverse park covering the needs of Athens 5+ million inhabitants and visitors. Hellinikon will be a quintessentially Greek park, most of the landscapes will be distillations of the main landscape typologies of Greece. Ecologically responsible, and in some cases innovative, the Park will be composed of connected ecotopes ensuring biodiversity, will balance cut and fill, will reuse and recycle local materials, will use locally manufactured soil, and will be irrigated with treated municipal waste water.
Upon completion, the Hellenikon Metropolitan Park will be a unique resource for Athenians, a draw for visitors, and a key part of the future development of Athens.