27 April, 2015

A decision for life

Therapeutic center for support and reintegration of young people that are addicted to drugs.

Greek version

Students: Gaiserlidou Vivian, Hadjipanayiotou Ioanna
Supervisor: Polichronopoulos Dimitris
School of Architectural Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace
Presentation Date: 2 July 2014

This is a study about the creation of a therapeutic community that refers to young people aged 15 to 20, allowing them to live and experience the space, feeling free in it.

Among the highest rates of deaths from drugs is the Greece, but there is no adequate prevention and treatment of the problem. Various organizations are trying to support and help these people, but the number in the queue is out of control. The spaces of therapeutic communities are located in scattered buildings, without meeting the requirements of an organized program that supports these people and tries to reintegrate them in society.



The city of Thessaloniki was chosen because through statistical studies is the second city after Athens in which the rates of drug use are increasing dangerously. For this reason, we had to find a site far from the noise of the city, but not isolated and inaccessible from the community. These people need to feel that their society gives them a second chance. Great importance also had the natural environment that surrounds this site, the tranquility of the area combined with the serenity of sea offer the appropriate standards for the operation of such a therapeutic community.

So the former camp Kodra in Kalamaria was selected, which is located in a remarkable area higher than the level of road that surrounds it overlooking the sea. The area that was selected is located west of the camp, leaving behind the old buildings that already exist. All these factors affected the design of this therapeutic center.



Our main intention was to create a central reference point - square where all the other spaces surrounding it. The differentiation of spaces became depending on their use, but this does not disturb the existence of a single set. We wanted the entrance area and the reception to be in such a point, so they have an overview of the square and the other spaces of the therapeutic community. Despite the fact that in such a therapeutic community teamwork is encouraged, we created houses located remote from other public areas, but this does not mean that they are isolated. The orientation determined the placement of the therapeutic community buildings. However, the view that offers the natural environment did not remain untapped.



Final phase of synthetic concept: Here is the final design of the synthetic idea, where the information kept by our initial intentions is cleared up.



RECEPTION_ (+3.00) is the first place that you meet with a view of the whole complex of buildings and overlooking the sea.

SPACE OF ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF_ (± 0.00) is one level below the reception area. On this level there is also the main access to the multipurpose hall, which reaches the level of -3.00 because of a two-storey height.

SQUARE_ (-1.50) continuing from the level of ± 0.00, the route ends through a wooden path at the first part of the square. The square is surrounded by several areas such as the spaces of therapeutic program at the level of -3.00 and ± 0.00, restaurant at the level of -3.00 and a communal area with entertainment room at -3.00, game room at ± 0.00 and library at 3.00.

HOUSES_ located remote from the other public spaces, surrounding a semicircular square. The houses consist of two categories and can accommodate 3 or 4 persons with specially designated areas for people with disabilities.

SPORTS FIELDS_GARDENS_ within walking distance of the houses are the sports fields and gardens for growing vegetables and fruits, encouraging people of the therapeutic community to deal with manual work and come into contact with nature.






In all buildings the materials that predominate are plaster and concrete surfaces, used mainly in vertical structural elements emphasizing the dynamics of the building. As we wanted to do the therapeutic community more familiar to people who live in it, we used wood as material of the paths that connect the spaces with each other. Metal elements placed to support these wooden paths.



This study was done under the guidance of expert psychiatrists and psychologists and considering the theoretical background. Through our proposal, we offer a new architectural design of therapeutic centers for support and reintegration of persons addicted to drugs by providing them the right conditions and incentives to give a chance in life again.



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