The Award event of the International Architectural Competition for the conversion of the SILO building and the surrounding area into the Museum of Underwater Antiquities, a project that is part of the global grid projects of the Cultural Coast of Piraeus, was completed at the Stone Warehouse of PPA SA.
The event was attended by the following, who also handed out the prizes and distinctions: the General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Mrs Lina Mendoni, the Attica Regional Prefect Mr. Stephanos Christou (Regional Unit Piraeus) and Mr. Leonidas Athanasiadis (NSRF), regional councils, Mayors and Councillors of Municipalities of the wider Piraeus area, former presidents of PPA SA, representatives of bodies of Piraeus and the Shipping industry.
Speeches were made by Mrs Lina Mendoni and the developer of the project, Mr. George Arahovitis.
An introductory speech was made by the President and CEO of PPA SA, Mr. George Anomeritis, who among other things said:
"With the project of the Cultural Coast of Piraeus a portal of Culture and Tourism for the residents and visitors of the city and harbor has been created, especially for cruise passengers.
Our goal is:
• The organic linking of the city with the port area up to the sea edge.
• The emergence of the archaeological site at the Haetionian Gates and the Ikonion Wall, demonstrating the great history of the port.
• The use of existing building stock and the rescue of industrial facilities.
• The creation of museums, theme parks and leisure networks.
• The development of green and a pedestrian area of 180.000 m2.
The Cultural Coast is a complex task, developed in one area of PPA SA, which has granted the entire area within the context of corporate social responsibility, with full identification and consultation with the Ministry of Education, Religion, Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Marine and the Aegean, the Municipalities and the Attica region with which last year a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for all projects.
One of these projects, the Museum of Underwater Antiquities, is being constructed at the iconic building for the Port, SILO, which was constructed by the Company as a grain warehouse and founded by Eleftherios Venizelos. After the notice of an open international design competition, involving 89 architectural firms from many countries and the unanimous verdict of the jury awarding the Institutional Committee, within an exhibition of all projects, 5 awards were instituted and 9 acquisitions of awarded projects, approved by the Board of PPA SA.
I want to first thank all the architects - Jury members and the Chairman, Emeritus Professor of Architecture, Mr. Dimitris Fatouros for the important task of evaluating and ranking of projects submitted. I especially want to thank the people responsible for the development of the Cultural Coast, the architect, Mr. George Arahovitis and all the executives of the Technical Services of the PPA.
I want to congratulate all participants on their work and of course those who were awarded and excelled.
I also want to thank the Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture, Mr. Lina Mendoni, the Attica Regional Governor Mr. Yiannis Sgouros and the Regional Prefect Mr. Stefanos Christou of the Regional Unity Piraeus, Mr. Leonidas Athanassiadis on issues of the NSRF and the Director of the Underwater Antiquities Department Mrs. Angeliki Simosi for their unfailing support.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I want to thank all of you who responded to our invitation. We are already at the start of a new season for the cruise industry. Already, on a daily basis, large cruise ships approach at the cruise port. 2013, despite problems due to the crisis, will be an excellent year.
The works of creation of the Cultural Coast have begun.
• For the Drapetsona Park, already the Municipality Keratsiniou - Drapetsonas has sent to Attica its proposal for inclusion in the axis of the NSRF.
• For the conversion of the building at Kastraki into a Thematic Archaeological Museum, already the final proposal has been decided by the Committee of Museums of the Ministry of Culture.
• Conversion of the stone warehouse into an Immigration Museum and Historical Archive of PPA SA will start in autumn 2013.
• For the conversion of the two large warehouses into a Theme Park, an international competition ending in June has been launched.
• The Construction of an underwater walkway, which will connect the Cruise port (Leontari) with the Cultural Coast, will be launched this autumn.
• The restoration of the superstructure at the Pericles Pier (Krakari) a project of the industrial age of Piraeus, will be re-announced in the summer.
• The reconstruction of the archaeological site at the Haetionian Gates in order to turn it into an accessible area for visitors, is continued through the care of the Antiquities Department of Piraeus and the Attica Region, and finally
• All other projects (underground parking, open sea Museum of Traditional Craft, Liberty, stone tanks, etc.) are aimed to open in 2013.
The Cultural Coast of Piraeus is an attempt for the biggest upgrade in urban environment, enhancing the social side of the Port and Town, which interlinks business in Shipping, Tourism and Culture and highlights again the role of the port of Piraeus as a timeless axis in the history of the Mediterranean.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Through the awarded projects, that we exhibit the Port of Tomorrow can be seen. A port that is being prepared, as of now, for 2021, the year of celebration of the 2.500 years since the Battle of Salamis. A port, in addition to other activities, that will be the hub of the Eastern Mediterranean Cruise. A port facing the crisis with creativeness, profitability and hopefulness."
The exhibition of all the awarded and submitted projects will remain from now until April 9th, 2013 at the Stone Warehouse.
NOTE: In the press release of 19.02.2013 can be found the winning projects and architects who received awards.