Sustainable schools in Chios

The aim is to create 4 school infrastructures with a special and friendly design, taking into account two parameters, both the users and the environment. In this architectural proposal, the materials are mainly natural, for the acquisition of which there have been provision and planning, where their arbitrary and non-regulated use is avoided. The labor force of the community is exploited, with the participation of which the schools will be built and maintained. This project is an experimental building system and not a proposal to create a stable building volume.

The starting point of this designing attempt is my research project, that of the examination of the boundaries between public and private space in Campos, Chios. Campos is a colonized area on the eastern coast of Chios island which is located in the Northeast Aegean Islands of Greece. This settlement is a unique place, because it consists of numerous stone fenced estates and towers, to a great extent. Kampos in its early years, according to travelers, had fortified country houses, the well-known “towers”, made from stone which originally came from Thymiana, and was designed in total compliance with the military architectural codes. The most distinctive characteristic of this concept design is the development of retaining walls, which run along the length of a complex road network, creating narrow paths with limits, strongly clarified, between public and private space. The reasons for the creation of these facing walls, most of which used to exceed the height of three meters, were various and based on a vast variety of political-socioeconomic issues.

One of them is an attempt to protect themselves from piracy, for which reason they adopted an unruly, labyrinthine, unregulated network of roads and dead ends. A characteristic feature of this design concept was the development of walls, which were clear boundaries and functioned as a disincentive to visual contact with the interior of the estate. The private area is therefore strictly defined. An also important feature is the way private and public space communicate (entrances, windows, planting). Campos today has suffered a number of alterations, which are caused by natural damage, indifference and lack of know-how and financial resources. Attempts are now being made to highlight the need for restoration and maintenance of Campos traditional character. So, why do Chios need these school infrastructures? Because the change will come from the new generation, which, in order to accomplish it, must experience diversity and understand that new ideas can be conceived and become reality. Therefore, the construction and existence of the new schools must be themselves an educational process.

I believe that school should become a place where teachers and students will feel happy, experience joy and freedom and feel it as a second home. Thus, I studied schools where children are in contact with nature and their schools are made of local materials, influenced by social and religious issues. The first attempts were made to create a skeleton, which would both support the school and create space, as part of the landscape. Due to the fact that torrents run through Campos, which often encounter the facades of the buildings, a slight elevation of the structures was deemed necessary. The structure's upper section will be planted for the most part, while there will be sections completely uncovered and parts covered with cloth.

© 2019-2020 by KATERINA MAVROMOUSTAKAKI