The new APIVITA factory

“Nature is the most dominant ruler of all” ~ Hippocratesapivita-facilities3

At the beginning of 2013, Apivita moved in her new “home”! The new bioclimatic facilities in Markopoulo, Attica, constitute our new “beehive” and embody APIVITA’s philosophy, values and its vision.

THE IDENTITY OF THE BUILDING

The new APIVITA building is in tune with the company’s philosophy and values, symbolizing sustainability, innovation and a unique way of connecting the workplace with the natural environment. It is located in the Industrial Park of Markopoulo, Attica, Greece, in an area that was once an olive grove.

In terms of architectural design, the building simulates a beehive, which brings together all the company’s activities, such as offices, training, museum, laboratories, cosmetics production, packaging of honey, bee pollen and royal jelly, personnel dining hall, SPA and events. The building covers a total surface of 6,830 m² in five levels, two underground and three aboveground, in an area of 6,170 m².

The key feature of the central atrium is an olive tree, the symbol of serenity, protection and fertility. It is known that APIVITA combines the ancient Greek tradition with the rich Greek flora, focusing on the life of the bee, and creates natural, ecological, effective and holistic cosmetics. It draws inspiration from the beehive, and therefore the society of the bee. The beehive and the society of the bee lead to the main features are cooperativeness, dedication to a common goal, respect to one another and to the environment, the attempt to achieve high qualitative goals.

As a natural outcome of these elements, the beehive worked as an archetype for the construction of the new facilities, in terms of togetherness, allocation and use of the space and mainly functionality, having as a dominating criteria the comfortable, human living of the employees.

As an extension of the factory, right opposite, there is the space of interactive contact with the Greek biodiversity, a miniature of the sources of inspiration of the company: the olive trees, the working society of the bees and a labyrinth made from lavenders and rosemaries, which invite us to forget for a while our daily concerns, to recharge our energy levels and understand the uniqueness of the principles of the company.

BUILDING STANDARDS

The construction of the building was based on the following criteria:

  • Simplicity, aesthetics and functionality
  • Natural lighting and ventilation
  • Respect to natural resources and local biodiversity
  • Bioclimatic Design
  • Reduction of ecological footprint
  • Thermal and visual comfort
  • Recyclable, natural and ecological Greek building materials.

To manage the natural sources there were used:

  1. a system for geothermic exploitation
  2. photovoltaics
  3. a rainwater tank, where water from the building and from the environment are gathered, to be used for watering.
  4. biological waste cleaning and disposal of the water for watering
  5. green roofs on the first and second floor
  6. large plantations in the surrounding space, with aromatic, pharmaceutical Greek plants and herbs, fruitful trees and species of the local flora, so that the microlimate serves the biodiversity.

SITING – FUNCTIONALITY

The offices are situated on the first and the second floor of the building, in a rectangular space with clean geometric lines.
The ground floor hosts the two main production lines, namely cosmetics and honey packaging.
The first floor underground hosts the packaging department, as well as the accompanying storage rooms. In the same floor we can also find the restaurant.
The storage rooms for the packaging materials and the engine rooms are situated on the second floor underground.

ENERGY PLANNING

The main goal of the architectural design was to shield the building from external environmental factors.
The shaded patio in the entrance area and the four storey glazing allow natural light to infiltrate the building. Thus, during the winter, the solar radiation entering the building from the southern wall heats the air. During the summer, it acts as a ventilation hopper due to the proper openings at the top and the bottom that facilitate the air movement. The interior planting acts as a natural air purifier and maximizes the energy benefits by cooling the air.

BUILDING MATERIALS

All building materials are certified with ISO, and most of them are ecological-natural and recyclable.
The spaces were constructed according to FDA standards (production, packaging, weighing, sampling)
For the lighting of the offices and all internal spaces there are lights of low consumption, while for the outside spaces they are LED.
All colors are ecological and certified.
The herbs that were planted are endemic, aromatic, Hippocratic plants and herbs.
On the surrounding space there was an attempt to maintain the local flora of the area. Olive trees that existed there before were planted back and the planting was enriched with fruitful Greek and endemic trees. Further to the green roof on the first floor, a botanical garden was created with Greek aromatic, pharmaceutical and Hippocratic plants and herbs, which are used by the company at the production of its products.

The architectural design and supervision of the work was done by the architects engineers Stella Pantelias and Zoe Balabani-Pantelias. In the architecture synthesis also participated the architect engineer Nick Georgoussis.