The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) announced its 2024 Award of Excellence winners – more than 100 of the most exemplary projects in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and adjacent disciplines. The facade design of ‘Piraeus Tower’ by PILA architecture studio has been awarded a 2024 CTBUH Facade Award of Excellence. 

As the tallest structure at the port of Piraeus in Attica, and the second-tallest building in Greece, its presence dominates the image of the port for five decades. Being dormant since 1975, the City of Piraeus with a consortium of investors transformed the inactive structure into a mixed-use tall building, of which PILA designed its new facade for the ‘rebirth’ of Piraeus Tower. The design was carried out in conjunction with facade engineer Eckersley O’Callaghan

PILA’s plan for the design of the new facade is to transform the structure of the tower into a dynamic landmark that reflects the vibrant energy of the aspiring district of Piraeus.

The proposal envisions a structure that is visually intriguing and incorporates strategies designed to drastically reduce energy consumption.

A shading structure consisting of vertical and horizontal overhangs encloses the tower. Each vertical fin is horizontally displaced from one floor to the next, creating a spring pattern that wraps around the building. The pattern appears to gently slide from one facade to another, with the resulting visual effect of the facade wrapping around the tower like an immense piece of fabric. This dynamic pattern appears different from various locations, creating a rich visual experience that is constantly transforming, depending on where one is standing. 

Projects from across the globe were recognised in over 20 categories and subcategories, including Best Tall Building, Innovation, Urban Habitat, Repositioning and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. 

“This year’s submissions showcase the wide spectrum of architectural innovations, construction techniques and urban visions transforming tall-building design internationally, as well as the evolving role of liveable density in shaping our cities and skylines,” explained CTBUH CEO Javier Quintana de Uña. 

“These projects demonstrate not only architectural excellence but also the need to prioritize sustainability, resilience and human-centric design, setting new benchmarks and aspirations for the entire AEC industry.”

“We are thrilled that Piraeus Tower is being recognised worldwide both for its distinctive, engaging facade design, and also as a destination for the port city of Piraeus, unifying the unique coastline of Attica.” stated Ilias Papageorgiou & Christina Papalexandri, Principals of PILA.

Award of Excellence winners now move on to the next stage of judging. The project team of PILA will present their submission for Piraeus Tower to attendees and live juries at the CTBUH 2024 International Conference, September 23–27, in London and Paris, after which overall winners for each category will be selected and announced at an award ceremony and dinner.


The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to smarter, more sustainable cities and a more viable future for global populations. CTBUH is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Shanghai, China, and Venice, Italy. CTBUH’s worldwide membership network includes companies from fields such as real estate development, architecture, engineering, cost consulting, building management and construction, among others. In addition to hosting leading industry events, CTBUH produces research and reporting on issues of significant consequence to its membership. Its most utilized asset is its building database, a compendium of detailed data, images and technical information on more than 30,000 tall buildings throughout the world. CTBUH is best known to the public as the arbiter of tall building height and the global authority that bestows titles such as the “World’s Tallest Building.”

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PILA is an international architecture studio based in Athens that creates environments for culture, working, and living around the world. They believe in architecture’s enduring character to create meaningful connections between people and their environment as a counterpoint to the speed of contemporary living. By reimagining existing ideas around program and function, physical spaces can offer new ways of experiencing the world.

PILA builds lasting spaces that adapt to future transformation, while considering today’s opportunities and constraints. Drawing upon material and immaterial contexts, the studio approaches the unique parameters of each project with openness and curiosity. Through a highly collaborative and iterative process, they translate each project’s opportunities and constraints into clear design directions that are sensitive to client and contextual needs.

PILA is currently engaged in the renovation and expansion of a historic house in Athens, the masterplan of B Plaz Voulas, the design of a three-storey house in a low-rise neighborhood in Athens, a private house in a beautiful mountainous landscape on the island of Antiparos in Greece, and a mixed use urban regeneration project in Paris.

Facts & Credits
Title Piraeus Tower
Typology Architecture 
Piraeus, Greece
Total Area
30.000 m2
Program Office, Retail, Restaurant, Terraces
Status Completed, 2023
Client DIMAND, Prodea Investments, EBRD

Facade Architect PILA
Facade Engineer Eckersley O’ Callaghan
Lighting Design Danilof 
Photography Nikos Daniilidis

Read an interview with Ilias Papageorgiou, the principal architect of PILA, here!