National Concept Design Competition for the design of care infrastructures and a neighborhood park in the Municipality of Chania, Crete, Greece.
Our aim is to create an urban network of intertwined interior and exterior spaces that, in turn, constructs a complex infrastructure of care, health, wellness, play, rest, and coexistence of the various groups that inhabit the city. The three main programmatic clusters of the nursery, the day centre for the elderly, and the neighbourhood park form a centre for care, during but also outside the regular working hours. We imagine the overall site as a collective community garden that promotes participation and accessibility for all.
The arrangement of the distinct built volumes in the plot encourages the dialectical relation between the nursery and the elderly centre; a relation of a balanced coexistence, which, at the same time, provides the potential of their distinct use. Along these lines, the nursery building is located on the north side of the plot, far from the street noise. The spaces for infants are organised in a linear volume, while the spaces for toddlers around a courtyard; both meet in the central – compositionally and programmatically – dining area, which becomes the nucleus of the nursery and the neighbourhood life. The elderly centre is located on the south east corner of the plot and is designed as an easily accessible ground-floor level pavilion. The centre of the site is thus freed and dedicated to the creation of the neighbourhood park that acquires in such a way a primary symbolic, functional, and sensory role.