This project is about a new Institute of Technology located in the innovation park named Technopolis, in eastern Thessaloniki. The new building will provide working spaces for a range of 70 to 100 employees and can host up to 35 visitors at its premises. The intervention site is characterized by intense height variations from one side to another, which was a key element for the architectural and formal choices during concept stages of design. So, the building consists of two volumes parallel to each other and a vertical axis of communication that shapes and fills the void between them. This new system of blocks is developed in the middle of the site given and expands its facilities mostly vertically, thus freeing the rest of the site area to be covered by trees and various plants. Standing in the middle of the property gave us the chance to experiment with the position of openings in all four facades of the building always according to the initial program and the requirements of each space. An extra skin of shutter systems is added on top of those openings to infiltrate and control the natural light and add a certain materiality to the building’s facades.
The main entrances to the building locate in two different levels, due to the steep slope of the site as mentioned above. The first one is on the primer level and mostly serves the needs of pedestrians, while the second one matches the parking space on the basement of the building. Besides the parking space, on basement one can find utility spaces, such as the server room and various storage spaces. On level B, which acts as the ground floor for those who reach the premises from the south-east side of the building, lies the reception, the administration offices and some of the thoghtfully designed laboratories, approached through the circulation corridor. On the upper level, which is level C, there are the offices of research associates, a resting area and a meeting room, while on level D, the whole floor is dedicated to the offices of post-doctoral students and their leisure area, along with a multifunctional meeting room. The last floor at its majority hosts a roof garden, which was also the best position for the cafe of the building, while at the same time accommodates the five offices of the senior staff/scientists.
Referring to the materials of the building, they were all selected to match our initial design goal for a more sustainable building. The large glass surfaces of the openings are exposed to the right orientation of the sun and combined with small carbon footprint materials, supplement on our intention to minimize the carbon emissions of the institute. Minimal and simplistic finishes on the exterior facades, complete the clean lines and geometry of the final form and as a whole, the complex radiates a strict and imposing visual identity.