7. A Park, A Kindergarden, A House For The Elderly

Open Competition
Chania, Crete


Collaboration with kan atelier
This welfare infrastructure project comprising a care home, a nursery school and a neighborhood park is located in a central location of Chania, Crete.

The project draws inspiration from the Cretan mythology, and more specifically the symbol of the labyrinth. The labyrinth is seen as a physical and psychological transition from a space (whether physical or notional) to another. Walls are introduced as a deconstructed spiral which organises the views, fragmenting, reorganizing and constantly reinventing them. Therefore, the concept of a ‘landscape within a landscape’ naturally occurs. An infrastructure where the different uses are hosted as smaller landscapes within themselves. The project celebrates the unexpected, the continuous exploration and intuitive wandering.

Inspired by the archetypical typology of “Hortus Conclusus”, the enclosed garden, the landscape design suggests the creation of a green magical space for the local neighborhood.

The project questions the linearity of time, arguing for a reflection on the archetypal notion of its cyclical movement, where the line’s process of reverting to a curve creates, again, a spiraling movement.

Sustainable design strategies were incorporated from early design stages to minimise environmental impact. Local, natural building materials were selected, along with native plants for the open spaces. Social engagement and the support of local economy and traditions also played a major role in the design proposal, trying to revitalise the street and provide the community with social and urban infrastructure.

The project, through the projection of the city’s past and its reinvention in the present subtly weaves a new mythology within the urban fabric.