A UK steel glazing specialist has helped to transform an Olympic media hub into one of Greece’s foremost retail centres, providing a good example of legacy planning for future Olympic Games.
A fire-rated façade of the newly-opened 41,000m² centre, which has 131 retail outlets, cafes and restaurants, was constructed from steel glazing from Wrightstyle, which is based in Wiltshire.
The Golden Hall in Athens was built as the international media centre for the 2004 Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, which attracted 10,625 athletes from 201 countries, competing in 301 medal events across 28 sports.
The media centre attracted some 20,000 journalists, broadcasters and photographers, and its redevelopment as a retail centre, creating hundreds of new jobs, demonstrates how legacy planning can work in practice.
Wrightstyle has an international reputation for its specialist glass and glazing systems which protect against fire, ballistic or bomb attack, with recent completions, among others, for a FIFA World Cup stadium in South Africa, and the Dubai Metro in the UAE.
The company was chosen because Wrightstyle has proven expertise in providing design solutions to complex architectural challenges. For example, they were at the forefront in the developmwent of the world’s first openable fire-rated window, and have recently launched an unlatched, fire-rated push and pull fire door – another world first.
In Athens, the project architect wanted to retain the external look of the Golden Hall building by retaining the existing non-fire aluminium glass façade, presenting significant design challenges for the Wrightstyle team.
However, working in close partnership with a local aluminium systems company, Wrightstyle designed and fabricated a secondary steel system for installation inside the existing aluminium framework to provide 60 minutes of fire protection.
Underlining one of Wrightstyle’s key strengths, the main 500m² curtain wall grid was manufactured and delivered on site in just four weeks, allowing the building to open on schedule.