Nursery/Kindergarten/Elderly home competition

The main goal of the concept was the creation of a contemporary building complex that can best meet the needs of its users, promote socialization and protect privacy, while leaving enough open space for a neighborhood park which should be connected in the best possible way with the building complex and the urban fabric. The requirements of the building program, the outline and altitude levels of the plot and the building conditions have largely defined the basic guidelines of the architectural composition. The main pursuit has been the creation of a protected private building complex while letting space for an open park from all sides. The connection and continuity of different uses, as well as the promotion of interaction between babies, toddlers and the elderly have also been key features of the design. The position of the building on the highest east side of the plot, takes advantage not only of the view towards the west side (sea and port) but also the flat terrain of the plot at that side. The morphology of the buildings has been sculptured from a solid 1156 sq. m. block creating a composition of open and built spaces across the long side of the plot. The initially united building has been divided in two separate volumes in order to facilitate the construction of the nursery school and the day care center for the elderly in two separate phases, according to the brief. The divided volumes however remain visually and morphologically connected as they follow the same grid and architectural language. The open spaces between the various uses of the complex act as interaction joints between the different age groups of its users. The restriction of covered areas (according to the building rules) to only 716 sq.m. of the plot has left no choice except having a second level for housing all uses of the program. The majority of designated uses have been housed on the ground floor except of the sleeping areas for all three age groups as well as the office spaces which can take advantage of the especially quiet and private first floor volume. The whole complex is surrounded by a second skin consisting of a metal structure which not only visually connects the building volumes but also acts as the supporting structure for vertical rotating panels which protect the courtyards and canopies for the flat roofs that allow control of light and heat entering the interior spaces as well. The Park on the other hand has been designed as a continuous walk through the long side of the plot, which also extends around the building complex. It has been left open and accessible from all sides of the plot on appropriate levels for disabled people access as well. The plot geometry has been incorporated as the guidelines for the exterior configurations. The rich and diverse planting of the park improves the microclimate of the area while also inviting neighbors to enter and discover its beautiful gardens. The Park as a whole has been conceived as a promenade and composition of straight lines and arcs, supplemented by green areas, which also follow the natural altitudes of the plot and leave enough open flat spaces for relaxation. The north side of the park, where the terrain has a natural slope down towards the northern street has been dedicated to the necessary parking spaces as well as to an urban garden, available not only to the building users but also to the whole neighborhood as a meeting point for creative gardening.