The Compass, Innovative Bioclimatic School in Heraclion

on drawing board
Heraclion, Crete
November, 2013
The Compass

There are three educational levels in the school
The primary school which is located on the lower level of the school. It has a court yard with one entry and exit point
In the center of the building we located the kindergarten protected from both the wings like a big hug.
The secondary school is placed on the two highest levels of the building.
On the top of the building there is a garden. In fact the building emerges from the landscape but it is despites its unique form still a part of it.
Let’s be more specific about the organization of the plans.
On the primary school all the classrooms have direct access to the courtyard. The hug – environment let the children to have the independence they need but in a controlled area.
Kindergarten area
The kindergarten area as we said is protected from the two wigs of the building like is been in a hug. The children of this level of education are leaving their homes for the first time, so they need a sheltered environment. There is also an enclosed courtyard on that building.
The secondary school students need independence. Their classrooms are on the two highest levels of the building. We gave the two courtyards one on the center of the complex and one on the southwestern part of the plot. This second courtyard is giving them the ability to feel more independent but on a secure and controlled way. We played a trick to those children… As they walk, through the courtyard to enter their classrooms, they pass by the kindergarten and they are able to take a look on the primary school courtyard.. . it is a tribute of their history in the building and also a responsibility test. They are older now and they will be reminded for that every single day…
All the classrooms are on the perimeter of the building, On the top level there is a library, the teachers office, but also an balcony. This balcony is a place to view the horizon toward to the north. The school is for European students that they are studying in Crete. Crete is the southern part of Europe and the school shape is an arrow facing the north like a connection to their native places. This connection a alive for every student that will stay there and watch north. This connection is part of the maturing process of the school
Sustainability study.
Thee is a cool breeze path transpassing our plot. We respect it by not blocking it and also we made some ventilation tunnels on the skin and on the volu of the building. So we used this cool breeze for natural ventilation. We also took care on the orientation of the building so we do not spend much energy for ventilation and lighting.
The main issue in Crete is high temperature so we designed a second skin (louvers) around our building. The air is circulating between the two skins cooling the classrooms and the workshops. There is a green roof covering the school. A garden with local plants. This helps the isolation of the building. The rainwater is collected and used again for building needs and watering the plants. We also use geothermy for cooling and heating.