Nursery School and Elderly Day Care Center
The project is an entry to a National Concept Design Competition for the design of care infrastructures and a neighborhood park in the Municipality of Chania, Crete, Greece. It takes place in Amperia district, a small neighborhood, which is characterized by a particularly irregular street plan and a strong micro-scale architecture. In the city block where the old hospital of Chania was previously located, a Health Center of urban style has already been built and in the remaining space, a Nursery School, an Elderly Care Center and a Park will be soon constructed.
Our aim is to create an exemplary public space characterized by simplicity in construction, dominating elements of nature and energy autonomy. We also aim to restore the spatial memory of the public space and to highlight the local elements in order to create a new unique experience for the residents and engage them to experience environmental education.
First and foremost, the fact that in the same place, people who have completely different age and functional needs, yet share a strong common need for social contact, will coexist, led to designing the Elderly Care Center and the Nursery school as two enclosed arms that connect at the heart of the composition (the Park) and are freely penetrated by nature. Furthermore, dividing the volumes and in parallel highlighting the buildings, helps signaling the new different functions, which are totally harmonized with the Health Center’s building and open space. The three functions are also practically and visually integrated through the inner path, that begins at the northeast corner and ends at the southwest corner of the block. This path reminisces elements of the local urban net and enables the visitor to fully perceive and understand the new functions.
Finally, each building’s façade illustrates the age of the people it relates to, and together they bring the old world and the new world together as one.