The world-famous architect with dozens of iconic projects, has returned to Greece
Famous Greeks

The world-famous architect with dozens of iconic projects, has returned to Greece

It could be an exemplary success story that from Brain Drain, we reached Brain Gain, since the internationally renowned architect Panagiotis Tombras, after building his name abroad with dozens of emblematic projects in his CV, decided to return to Greece and continue to grow based on his hometown.

Originally from Sparta and with a personal course of study in Italy, in 2012, he was forced to close his office in Sparta and settle in Australia. However, his return to Greece marks the rise of an architect who has achieved a position at the top of the field, undertaking major projects.

The four major destinations of the last decade, namely Australia, Qatar, Dubai and Egypt, represent Panagiotis Tombra’s successful stops. He has successfully managed construction projects worth billions, reflecting his impressive track record in the industry. His impressive career started after completing his studies at the University of Venice in 2002. Upon his return to Greece, he establishes an office in Sparta, his home town, with a branch in Monemvasia. During a period of prosperity, he concentrates on designing hotels, holiday homes and luxury villas.

“I arrived in Australia without knowing anyone. Along the way I met Greek immigrants who helped me a lot with the crucial issue of finding and finding a job and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their valuable help. However, even before I travelled there I had taken care by making very good preparations. For example, I had prepared my CV in such a way that it was appropriate for the country, I had sent many emails to companies and much more. In other words, I was properly prepared in terms of where I was going to move in order to find a job. In addition, I visited the Greek community in Melbourne, where they helped me by giving me a lot of advice,” he said in an earlier interview.

His career in Australia could have led him to stay there forever, but his family had remained in Greece and he was looking for a way to be closer to them. With no systematic preparation beforehand, in 2012, Tobras made the decision to try his luck in Qatar. He successfully passed the interview test, and the flight time to Athens was reduced to 4 hours, while from Melbourne it took 19. He took up the position of design director at the “Sheraton Hotel”, on the man-made Pearl Island, in Doha. It was a construction project of 5 high towers and 1,300 individual properties, as well as the North Gate Mall.

He stayed in Dubai for five years working as the design and construction manager of the Museum of the Future. It is a unique architectural creation – a glimpse of the world 50 years from now, exposing advanced technologies to traditional art forms, according to the museum’s website. “To have my signature on such a project is really wonderful and fills me with pride,” he says in a later interview.

“It is a 77-metre-high building where a personal poem by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum is inscribed in Arabic on its façade. Its façade is clad with 1,024 stainless steel panels, each individually designed, of varying dimensions, up to 9 x 3 metres in curved form. They were manufactured outdoors and transported and assembled on site. I managed a set of teams – responsible for design, costing and construction methods – that exceeded 100 architects and engineers of all disciplines. The shape represents the knowledge we have as humanity, while the void represents the unknown future.

Upon his return to our country two years ago, he was active in the conversion of an office building into a boutique hotel in Piraeus, as well as the renovation of the famous “Levendi Resort” in Kamena Vourla. “Greece is developing, we are in discussions for a 5-star hotel of foreign interests in the centre of Athens, holiday homes in Paros and luxury apartment buildings in the southern and northern suburbs,” he says.

She founded Top Mentor Consultants, where apart from architectural design, she undertakes construction and project management and advises prospective investors, working with all those who wish to create something new in the country, either by upgrading existing properties or by creating new constructions.

“I love Greece and believe in its potential. The country has a quality of life and is also in a very good momentum with significant opportunities in the construction sector and many investments underway. At the same time, construction activity in building large projects in Dubai had gradually started to decline. And this fact motivated me to take the decision to return to Greece. However, I still maintain partnerships outside the borders, in countries such as Saudi Arabia or Kazakhstan,” says Panagiotis Tombras confidently.