The winning design proposal is based around a series of courtyards that act as the core gathering places, in the heart of each school. Natural ventilation and shading is being used to create a comfortable environment. The Cretan tradition is reflected with the use of rough unrefined materials such as stone, rammed earth and timber combined with contemporary techniques and technologies to meet contemporary construction needs. The Jury Panel reported: "This is a delightful school complex that students and young children will really enjoy. It brings nature into its heart and at the same time a stimulating and inspiring environment. The kindergarten children will particularly enjoy the 'Mitato' style napping area. The courtyards and school layout should make the building easy to use".
The Jury Panel looked for designs that included flexible teaching and learning environments that are 'bioclimatic' and Eco-friendly, well planned and orientated to the sun and the wind and relate in scale to people and the surroundings. After three days of long and carefully deliberated sessions, which included detailed review of each proposal, the Jury Panel was unanimous in choosing the five prize winning entries but also three non-monetary special mentions.
"The success of the competition is reflected not only on the quality of the winning design, but also on the quality and quantity of the entries that SBO received" stated Herakles Droulias, the CEO of the School Buildings Organisation, and continued: "We look forward to working closely with the winning team and ultimately transform their vision into the new European School Complex in Crete. Utilising architectural competitions as a tool for innovative design always receives excellent reviews from the architectural community and we expect to set an example for other organisations. We sincerely thank the Technical Chamber of Greece and the International Union of Architects [UIA] for their invaluable support".
''We are extremely excited and honoured to have won the first prize'' said Theodora Kyriafini, the Team Leader of the First prize winning Team, ''The ultimate objective of our proposal was to bring joy to the young students and set a stepping stone for a positive change of the education model in Greece''.
If anyone knows how this interesting project is progressing could they please let us know.