MINISTRY OF EDUCATION
The project constitutes the first phase of the masterplan of the Laniteia Schools, with the extension of the Secondary School. The new building includes the school’s laboratories and a multipurpose athletics hall along with redesigned courtyards and open areas.
The proposal comprises the demolition of old structures, except for the main wing which includes the general classrooms and the principal and professors’ offices. The remaining functions – twelve laboratories and a multipurpose athletics hall – are housed in a separate unified building placed in the south of the main wing. A new, enclosed courtyard is therefore formed between the old and new structures, whereas the new building includes a second courtyard, around which all the labs are located. The two entities are connected via a steel bridge construction and through exterior corridors in the east and west sides, thus forming an integrated ensemble.
The main strategy that was followed in the design is the sinking of the large volumes in the ground, so that the new building is not overwhelming and does not overshadow the existing one. The sloped roof of the new building, which is also green, not only gives additional height where is needed in the labs, but it visually acts as a continuation of the existing landscape. This way, although the new extension includes many areas, its volume is constrained, and its height does not exceed that of the existing wing. Because of the sinking, the main courtyard between the old and new buildings is in a lower level, creating a secluded, secure environment for the students. The courtyard is thus the fundamental element establishing the dialogue between the old and the new. Moreover, exterior seating shaped in the north side of the courtyard because of the sinking, acts also as a visual podium for the old building.