$342 mln renovation for US embassy in Athens

$342 mln renovation for US embassy in Athens

The US embassy in central Athens, a landmark building in the Greek capital, will be renovated in a $342 million project that will be completed in 2022.

At a ceremony held Wedesday to mark the start of renovation work, US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said that Greek architect Pericles Sakkelarios, who was consulted in the renovation of the 60 year old building, said that the goal was "to find the spirit of the Greek approach without imitating any classical means."

"In other words, the architect was looking for a way to convey democracy and the Western values that were born here in Greece through a truly historic landmark building," said the ambassador.

The embassy's Athens Chancery, designed by Walter Gropius of The Architect Collaborative (TAC) and of Bauhaus fame, is an example of mid-century modernist architecture.

The four-phase project will provide new office space for the embassy, renovate an annex building, and upgrade the Chancery’s structure, electrical and mechanical systems to meet modern design standards. The rehabilitation project will provide a secure, modern, and sustainable platform for diplomacy, the embassy said in a statement.

The construction contract was awarded in 2017, and completion of the project is anticipated in 2022. Ann Beha Architects was selected for the project.