The separate Laboratory Buildings  at the Ziridis school complex at Spata Attica. (1998-2001) Not Implemented.

The complex of a school campus where the children would live in contact with nature within the extremely mild Attica climate, was stressed as a common goal of both the designer and the school authorities.  After all it was precisely under this temperate Mediterranean  environment that major academic achievements of yesteryear, let alone political and cultural maturity reached their apex, essentially organized in simple out-door living in constant contact with nature.  All life and even family life in the privacy of the home, was traditionally organized around a central open court, ideally surrounded with a covered loggia for protection against the at times unforgiving direct sunlight.

From the earliest phases of design, through considerations such as cultivation by the students of their private classroom gardens, experiencing common life within the various age groups in open courtyards, the concept of an open theatre etc, the school was aiming to suggest an environment with greater proximity with life in the open, contributing to balance and both physical and mental equilibrium for all within the academic community. In a practical sense, this aim was for low rise buildings with broken-down, harmoniously proportioned volumes and elegant, though symbolically familiar forms (such as openings immediately identifiable by the students as classical-if not- fairy tale- windows), within abundant greenery in a balanced interplay of the built with the natural.

Within this desire for the maximum break-down of volume in a decentralized campus, the laboratory buildings were prescribed as separate entities, early on. At the same level conceptually and symbolically with the secondary school buildings, they were understandably located  physically close-by, in tandem with each one of them to best meet functional practical needs of the students, by keeping distances within reason.

During  the course of the project, with varying at times programmatic requirements the buildings were either single storey lower buildings or double  storey, and at some both a combination was selected as more appropriate to meet precise elevation  differences in the two sides of the plot. Covered underpass with direct protected access to the buildings at the basement level, had also been considered in order to  satisfy sensitivities of concerned parents, who were constantly consulted.

It is most unfortunate that  these buildings were eventually not implemented with purely financial considerations at the final stage. Additional play-grounds were temporarily prescribed in their place.

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