This school complex is situated in the heart of Heraklion’s urban landscape, posing a challenge to find a suitably sized plot of land within the urban area. With the plot spanning 1500 square meters, its limited size presented an obstacle that needed to be overcome. After carefully analyzing the building program and on-site conditions, a solution involving three distinct building volumes was chosen. One volume occupies the ground floor, while the other two volumes are elevated above the schoolyard. This approach aimed to maximize the available schoolyard space while effectively accommodating the building program.
Schools hold significant influence as educational structures, shaping the values and knowledge of individuals and society at large. They serve as the foundation for our basic understanding, critical thinking, and judgment of the world and our way of life. The space in which education takes place plays a vital role in how children interact with their environment. It becomes their initial exposure to the concept of bourgeois society, shaping their future relationships with the broader societal context.
The fundamental concept behind this building design is to create movement both within the structure itself and in the surrounding environment. The objective is to ensure permanent freedom of movement outside the building. While the essential functions naturally take place inside the building, there is also a desire to facilitate certain activities outside. Thus, great importance is placed on the quantity and quality of the provided yard space. Despite the plot’s limitations, albeit of medium size, the primary goal is to provide the largest possible ground floor area for students to relax.
Based on building data and the specific requirements of the educational structure, calculations were made to determine the maximum feasible coverage. The necessary functions were primarily located on the ground floor, while the remaining functions were distributed across the other floors. The intention was to avoid constructing a compact volume that encompasses all functions, opting instead to distribute them in smaller, more manageable sections. The required volume was divided into four parts, with two pieces remaining on the ground floor and the others suspended above.
To ensure seamless connectivity and interaction among different functions and students, necessary vertical and horizontal axes of movement were established. A central patio serves as a unifying element, creating a circular relationship between the floors and a cylindrical connection within the space. From a structural standpoint, the support system for the two suspended volumes on the ground floor was carefully designed to prevent the creation of a closed inner courtyard, allowing it to remain free and connected to the surrounding urban space. This was achieved by supporting the volumes with numerous oblique thin steel columns, creating the necessary static conditions to securely suspend the volumes.
The architectural design of the cubic structure used as a school is an impressive testament to innovation, sustainability, and creativity. With its wooden facade, vertical void, connecting corridor, truss-like columns, basement for electric cars, and a dedicated room for dance classes, it offers a unique and inspiring learning environment.
The school’s exterior showcases a stunning wooden facade, providing a warm and inviting ambiance. The natural beauty of the wood creates a harmonious connection with the surroundings, while also emphasizing a commitment to eco-friendly design principles. The wooden cladding is carefully crafted to blend aesthetics and functionality, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the structure.
At the heart of the school is a striking vertical void, serving as a central architectural feature. This void creates a sense of spaciousness and openness, as well as allowing natural light to flood the interior spaces. The void is designed to captivate attention and inspire curiosity, offering a unique visual experience that stimulates creativity and exploration.
Connecting the 15 classrooms within the structure is a corridor that acts as a bustling pathway for students and staff. This corridor serves as a vital link, promoting interaction and collaboration among different areas of the school. It provides an opportunity for students to showcase their work and achievements, creating a dynamic and vibrant atmosphere.
A complex of truss-like columns supports the cubic structure, giving the impression of suspension and adding a touch of architectural drama. These columns are strategically placed to provide stability while simultaneously creating an awe-inspiring visual effect. The combination of their unique design and functionality adds a sense of innovation and artistic expression to the overall structure.
The school’s commitment to sustainability is demonstrated by the inclusion of a basement specifically designed for electric cars. This forward-thinking feature promotes eco-friendly transportation options and aligns with a greener future. The basement serves as a convenient charging station, encouraging the use of electric vehicles and reducing the school’s carbon footprint.
Additionally, the school provides a dedicated room for dance classes, recognizing the importance of artistic expression and physical activity. This room is carefully designed to accommodate various dance forms, providing ample space for movement and creativity. It becomes a hub for students to explore their artistic talents and foster a sense of personal growth.
In summary, the cubic school structure with a wooden facade, vertical void, connecting corridor, truss-like columns, basement for electric cars, and a room for dance classes creates an architecturally stunning and inspiring environment. It combines sustainable design, innovative features, and artistic spaces, offering students a well-rounded and enriching educational experience.
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