POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL (TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY) OF CRETE
The new campus of the Polytechnic School of Crete, in Akrotiri, Chania, is built in a relatively uninviting area, where trees are absent and the ground is sloping in a west-east direction.
Responding to the request for a complex of buildings that would house the projects various activities we proposed instead a group of open-air and semi-open-air spaces that would be defined by the buildings surrounding them, the central point of the plan being a square serving as a reception area (cf. the School of Philosophy, University of Crete).
The primary concern in the context of this project was a systematic treatment of the element of movement and an equally systematic articulation of the interior and exterior boundaries of the various spaces. The painstaking effort to design open and closed spaces that seem to intersect and interpenetrate each other in both plan and elevation substantially contributed to this goal, as did the persistent quest for rendering spaces open on both ends. We attempted to resolve the various contradictions inherent in the needs that the project was called upon to fulfil. These contradictions stem from needs such as:
Flexibility and the potential for future expansion; fixed areas of a specific identity; areas of a pronounced private character, i.e. spaces reserved for research; areas of a public character, i.e. busy areas such as large amphitheatres; a high degree of intricacy; an overall space that is clearly and immediately legible; a scale that allows the campus to have a dominant presence in the area; a micro-scale that enables the various parts of the campus to evoke a sense of familiarity and intimacy.
Such contradictions do not serve as antithetical conditions, but rather as dialectic units.
A66: SA, DA, A. Monemvassitou, B. Babalou, A. Noukakis, Th. Fotiou