The lot where the Vocational High School of Kalamaria is to be built is in an area considered to be an extension of Kalamaria district and occupies 7,065 square meters.
The building belongs to a particularly complex building type. The aim was not to simply bring together and accommodate students of many different specialties in a single school building but to achieve interplay based on the principle ‘more practice and experiments for general training and more theory for vocational training’. The complex educational procedures shaped the Building Schedule and, consequently, the architectural design.
The features of the building plot are not ideal for the size of the School Building. More specifically, it is located on a sharply sloping area, it is small and there are no specific building conditions apart from that providing for the increase in the building coverage coefficient and height (0.8 – 1.2 + 1.5 m).
That is why the additional difficulties that emerged - not necessarily related to architectural solutions -such as the General Building Regulation, had to be addressed in the context of the strict call for bids; we had to balance between the individual requirements of each area and at the same time strive to reach a solution that utilizes to the largest possible extent a large area, providing also for adequate free space.
Finally, the solution proposed includes a “L“-shaped building; one side is occupied by the classrooms, the TEE administration offices and the entrance, while the other side by the rest of the required areas set out in the building schedule (Labs, E/M areas, parking place).
This shape allows the school yard rectangular area to be optimally exploited for sports and recreation (breaks).
Volume scaling provides appropriate aesthetics and the required sunlight in the classrooms.
An educational farm has been constructed at a level lower than the main yard (that is at level –3) together with the greenhouse; therefore, it can be also considered to be a green space located between the sports area and the main yard.
Challenging was the location of green spaces that could accommodate 950 students during break time. Also, we were particularly concerned with the location of the grand assembly hall so that a visually large volume could be removed from the synthesis, allowing the buildings to ‘breathe’.
Appropriately selected levels serve access to and from all areas. Levels are aimed mostly to facilitate specific functions such as accessibility for persons with disabilities via a ramp system and level crossings allowing their unobstructed movement.
The school complex is smoothly integrated into the sloping ground, can be accessed from both sides of the block and unfolds in five levels (basement, ground floor A, Β and C and two floor units) creating volumes of alternating and different heights. The aim is also to avoid monotony and uniformity in the facades, two very typical features of school buildings resulting from the compulsory arrangement of large numbers of recurring structures, that is the classrooms.