In a symbolic action, the Public Property Company (HPPC) SA celebrated Greek Independence Day on 25th March by bringing the historic flower stalls at the Parliament back to life. These flower stalls are one of Athens’ living monuments that characterised the life of the capital and were a great attraction for Athenians and visitors alike for many decades.
From early in the morning, the florists of Syntagma Square offered bouquets of flowers to passing citizens and visitors, enhancing the spring-like and festive atmosphere of the day and continuing the old Athenian tradition.
This action came to fruition thanks to cooperation between HPPC, Spyros Kontogiannis’ historic flower stall which has been operating continuously in the area since the 1930s and the social organisation for the disabled, “The Power of a Flower”, a group of young people who love to grow Greek plants, creating original flower arrangements and spreading the message of integration, that everyone has a place in the community.
The project to bring the historic flower stalls back to life is the result of a joint initiative between the Public Property Company (HPPC) SA, the Greek Parliament and the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The project is expected to soon be completed by HPPC and it aims to ensure this historic landmark regains the unique glamor that it deserves .
The project to bring the historic flower stalls back to life:
There are eleven historic flower stalls in Syntagma, which are almost all the same size. They are small premises which are under the courtyard of the Parliament building and extend in a row down Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, with direct access to the road. Some of the stalls are joined together, while others are autonomous and have an entrance on the road, as they were originally designed. Today there are two florists operating in four stalls.
In line with the HPPC study on restructuring the flower shops at the Parliament, it is proposed that the current use of the shops is upgraded. There would still be flower shops at each end of the row of shops, but new uses would be introduced adding a Hellenic Parliament and Hellenic Organization of Cultural Resources Development shop and exhibition area along with auxiliary services in the other areas. The exhibition areas would be linked by openings in the internal walls and the corridors, and two semi-outdoor areas would be created to give an entrance/transition from the public space to the showrooms and the store.
The architectural study provides for the external constructions which have been added to be removed as these alter the character of the site, and the main facade on Vasilissis Sofias Avenue where the stall are will be modernised. Two flower shops will remain, one at each end of the row of shops, and Hellenic Parliament and Hellenic Organization of Cultural Resources Development exhibition areas and auxiliary service areas will be added. The exhibition areas would be linked by openings in the internal walls and the corridors, and two semi-outdoor spaces where periodic exhibitions can be hosted would also be created.