Bennetts Associates wins international competition for Anatolia College, one of Greece’s most distinguished academic institutions

Bennetts Associates wins international competition for Anatolia College, one of Greece’s most distinguished academic institutions

Bennetts Associates has been appointed to reimagine the campus of Anatolia College in Thessaloniki. The practice was selected through a rigorous process from a final shortlist with UNStudio and NADAA and an original longlist including Foster + Partners, BIG and Gensler. 

Established in 1886, Anatolia College is celebrated as one of Greece’s most distinguished educational establishments. The private, non-profit organisation that caters to all levels of education has identified a need for a future vision that will enhance the student experience, better reflect its preeminent academic reputation (both national and international) and allow significant expansion of the student population at its tertiary division, ACT - The American College of Thessaloniki.

Set in a beautiful and historic location in the hills above Thessaloniki, the campus covers c.22 hectares in total. In addition to reimagining the campus identity and refining the quality of place/architecture, other key objectives include future-proofing educational space for students and staff, cherishing the local heritage, further embedding sustainability, celebrating nature and improving key functional aspects of the estate.

Bennetts Associates will be supported by acclaimed landscape architects Grant Associates, as well as Buro Happold: Athens (sustainability/highways), Alexi Marmot Associates (educational briefing) and Betaplan (Greek partner architects). As part of the tender process, design concepts by Bennetts Associates and its collaborators build on a theme of a ‘forest campus’ by unifying the site through a sensory and experiential journey. They also include major new entrances, reworked ‘heartspace’ quads, doubling of nature, a new rooftop events space with panoramic sea and mountain views, and a 600-seat state-of-the-art auditorium. Completion and approval of the framework masterplan is targeted for Summer 2024.

Albert H. “Chip” Elfner III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Anatolia College, said: “This is an exciting moment for Anatolia College, as we celebrate our centenary of moving to the current site.  As well as marking the journey to where we are, it is the ideal time to envision an exciting future, with this new masterplan at the heart of the process.  We look forward with eagerness to where this might lead.”

Dr Panos Vlachos, President of Anatolia College, said: “We are delighted to appoint Bennetts Associates. As well as their extensive expertise, they demonstrated great imagination and commitment through the selection process, together with a desire to help us express who we are and where we are located.  We really liked this combination and look forward to working with them further.”

Julian Lipscombe, Director at Bennetts Associates, said: “We felt a strong rapport and shared vision with the College from the outset so it is a great honour to have been appointed. Our intention is to consolidate the scheme so that it fully expresses the College’s identity and history, as well as celebrating the natural beauty and culture of Northern Greece. We hope the end result will be an exceptional campus that delivers the objectives and inspires generations of ‘Anatolians’ to join. We have operated in Greece for a number of years and relish the opportunity to work on such a prestigious project – our first in Thessaloniki.”

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