EUROPEAN SCHOOL COMPLEX

ARCH. DESIGN : LKarchitect (group leader). Emmanouela Tzagaraki-Architect,  Myron Kasapakis-Architect
Collaboration : Lazy Snail
STATUS : Competition Entry. November 2012. 
PLOT ΑREA : 15.750 sq. m.
CONSTRUCTIBLE ΑREA : 5.930sq. m.
COMPETITION EDITOR  : School Buildings Organisation SA 

 

INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURAL COMPETITION “INNOVATIVE BIOCLIMATIC EUROPEAN SCHOOL COMPLEX, IN CRETE- GREECE” – SEEH (SCHOOL OF EUROPEAN EDUCATION IN HERAKLION).

 

 

 

Birds eye view.

 

The competition SEEH was concerning the design of a school complex, primarily to cover ENISA’s need, with a distinctive multi-cultural character and an innovative, environmental design.

 

 

Entrance of the complex.

 

Our starting point was initially the organic evolution of the palatial complex of Knossos and its immediate connection with topography, microclimate and orientation, and secondary the rich “Fortification” of Cretan cities (the Venetian walls). Thought the design approach was influenced by our site visit, which is located in the broad area of the University of Crete campus, and the vast collection of elements-traces, with the most important one, an abandoned birds nest among the olive groves.

 

Concept images.

 

Fortification of Heraklion - Photo from Knossos - Olive grove - Fiona and Flora of the site - University building - Nest - Letter “E” found on site - The Disc of Festos.

 

Conceptual process sketches.

 

3d view of the complex and the imposing mountains.

 

Master Plan Layout
 

1 ADMINISTRATION BUILDING 2 KINDERGARDEN 3 PRIMARYSCHOOL 
4 SECONDARY SCHOOL 5 MAIN ENTRANCE TO SCHOOL COMPLEX
6 VISITORS PARKING AREA  7 SCHOOL’S BUS STOP
8 MAINTENANCE ROAD  9 COMPLEX’S CENTRAL COURTYARD
 

West Elevation

 

Plan of Level 0.00

 

Metaphorically, the life cycle of a birds nest (birth-incubation-hatch-raise-independence) translates in an elliptic design of the complex, which is parted by four edifices. Separated and connected they are using a common architectural language, while respecting the sites topography. The creation of an underground (yposkafo) building represents the “incubation” of an egg. The primary building is dynamically appearing from earth as a young bird during the hatching. The clearly shaped secondary school is overlooking the new horizons of the university campus, representing the “flying” and the way to independence. All this life cycle is under the supervision of the raised on top of “tree trunks” Administration building. The open space in the center of the cycle symbolizes the center of the nest and it’s a common space for every student. The planted rooftops, the photovoltaic panels, the collection and reuse of rain water and the tree relocation were among the leading elements of our environmental design approach.