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Competition for a daycare, kindergarten and center for the elderly with a park in Chania [honorable mention]

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Title: Daycare, kindergarten and center for the elderly with a park. 

Location: Chania, Greece

Type: small-scale

Client: Municipality of Chania, Greece (national architectural competition)

Award: honorable mention


Architecture: Andrei Georgina, Charalampidou Athina, Lazaridis Georgios Petros

Graphic Design assistance: Lili Efthimia

Structural Engineering: Kriara Vasso

MEP Engineering: Vassiliou Christos

Year: 2020

The object of the present study is both the design of a building complex "Welfare Building" which will house a Nursery and Day Care Center for the Elderly, as well as a neighborhood park in the municipality of Chania. 

The composition was based on the intention to form a building that emerges from nature and bridges the two uses with a common entrance - meeting place, movement and interaction, which extends to the entire evolution of the park. Starting as an extension of the soil, it is formed gradually, always keeping its earthly character; it is an embrace that sinks into nature and penetrates it. The age gap is seen as a springboard for new functional schemes and relationships, signaling a different social perspective in the concept of neighborhood and beyond. The main criterion of the idea was to maintain and strengthen as much as possible, the green of the site and the final configuration to be directly in harmony with the environment. The relationship between the two building functions was an important factor in the development of the idea. The approach was always guided by the bioclimatic logic of a building that takes advantage of the resources offered, with the smallest possible energy footprint. The materials are natural and user-friendly and local (such as cobblestones, brick, wood, stone that is reused after the fencing wall is removed). The layouts of the "bridge" building, dynamic and simple, are placed linearly along the plot. The two central uses are divided into two different volumes so that they can be separated and can operate completely independently of each other. However, a key element of the central idea was the relationship between the entrances of these two buildings, which were placed at close range and direct visual contact, creating a kind of square for the interaction of building users and enhancing the sense of neighborhood where young and old meet as they enter or leave their respective buildings. This feeling is further enhanced by the presence of the common roof that unites the building volumes, as well as the tree that is placed centrally, referring to the structure of the traditional square as a place of gathering and socialization. Entering the building of the kindergarten, the visitor meets directly the waiting room which is surrounded by administrative and auxiliary uses. Along the south side there is a corridor to which the babysitting rooms give. Taking full advantage of the difference in height of the plot, the architectural solution allows the creation of two floors which from two different sides become ground floors. On the upper ground floor are the infants' area. 

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