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papalampropoulos syriopoulou

GREEN FORUM | The Enclave and the Theatre

Status: Open Architectural Competition / Municipaity of Chania
Program: Municipal kindengarten and day care for the elderly & public park
Building area: 1.100 sqm

Architect: Leonidas Papalampropoulos, Georgia Syriopoulou

Structural engineer: Marinos Kattis

Mechanical Engineer: Maria Mageirou

Location: Chania, Greece

The proposal attempts to redefine typologically and architecturally the urban social space through the fusion of its two conflicting practices, the enclave and the theatre.


Due to the necessary safety requirements, educational buildings generally consist of enclosed “pockets” (enclaves) which form large voids in the urban fabric. The need for control of accessibility in these spaces deprives the city of a vital pubic space.


The design seeks to merge the requirement for a controlled operation of the buildings with the need to create an open public space through the spatial analogy of the Theatre. Public life is considered here in terms of an OPEN-AIR PERFORMANCE thus defining the typology of the square as a theatrical space within which emerges the public sphere. The proposal expands and multiplies the public space through the function of the roof as a mild, easily accessible green public slope-theatre.


The gradual and mild folding of the ground and the exploitation of the existing height differences within the site, structure both the open public space and the accommodation of the building complex: a form of roof/theatre resolves simultaneously, on the vertical axis, the two conflicting functions while maintaining a continuous, fluid space (in settlements with wide altitude differences and a shortage of space for forming a public square it is common practice to expand the open air public space while exploiting the underside for hosting other public functions).


The flat east part in continuity with the slope is planted with high trees referring to the common Greek typology of the public square around a sycamore tree. The east border of the site is formed like a stage: it defines the edge of the Park-Square and it incorporates a public fountain as a meeting point for the community.

The principal internal functions of the kindergarten penetrate the inclined platform of the roof-theatre allowing the controlled entry of south-east natural light into the building, while defining the play area.

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