What does it take to represent your country abroad in the best way possible? The new Belgian Embassy building in Athens by Greek-Austrian architecture office Buerger Katsota serves as a perfect example! The façade of a prestigious late 1960’s apartment building was transformed into a perfect ‘Storefront’ for Belgium in the centre of Athens.
The new façade is open, transparent, interactive, as well as protective. Behind the full height, clear structural glazing with its stainless steel foldable protective screen, a lighting strip negotiates the transition between outside and inside. During after hours, the illuminated façade marks the embassy’s presence and literally render the arcade with the colours of Belgium.
The proposed reorganization of the interiors aims at creating a welcoming, open, well defined public space to flexibly cater for various events and uses. The main elements of the proposed plan are: the front entrance area -the Vestibule- which is intended as a multifunctional public space, the second threshold, the ‘grey box’ incorporating the space for the Receptionist’s Office and the Security Portal, and the staircase area with the lift lobby.
The materials have been selected for their quality, durability, performance and elegance, with their list being purposely limited: white marble for the flooring with reference to the existing. Grey ‘Eternit’ panels for the Receptionist Area and the Security Portal, for its crispness, lightness, ready-made quality and easy assembly.
The I Love Belgium team has just one remark: shouldn't the colours of Belgian flag be black-yellow-red instead of the red-yellow-black... I suppose that's a quick fix!