Nest and flight

18 April, 2013

Nest and flight

Community center for children in Athens.

Greek version

Students : Pavlos Aravantinos, Katerina Vlaxou
Supervisor: Kostis Panagidis
University of Thessaly, Departmant of Architecture
Date : February 2012

This thesis concerns the design of a supralocal Community Centre in Kolonos, a highly disadvantaged area of Athens. The main objective was to develop a building that is accessible to the community and at the same time to create an environment which instills a sense of pride in the children and functions both as a shelter and a point of reference.

Kolonos is a densely populated area of Athens with very little green and a high level of illiteracy. In addition, the slumped economy has worsened the situation as children and their families are exposed to an environment of increased social, financial, and psychological problems, creating an even greater overall feeling of insecurity. As a result, a high percentage of pupils in the area are faced with emotional and behavioral difficulties.

In addition to addressing basic needs, such as food and health, the community centre aims to ignite interest and passion in the children, provide them with opportunities and stimuli, and help them develop their imagination, creativity, social skills and the chance to discover new interests and talents.

The ambiguity and discordant urban fabric of the surrounding area, in conjunction with the intension to create a protected, sustainable, hospitable and friendly environment, imposed for a clean architectural gesture which invites the children to explore. The programmatic requirements, the interchange of spaces with different qualities, the transitions from indoors to outdoors, dictated the mould of the subsequent layout configuration.

The building ramps up around a free for play central courtyard. It comprises a nursery, a kindergarten, classrooms, and a library. The continuity of indoor spaces is interrupted by a semi-outdoor double-height space which shelters an amphitheater, a dining room and a terrace where pupils can congregate during breaks for meals and games.  The upward spiraling that starts at street level ends on a daylight-filled hall for dance, music and arts.


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