The Kindergarten of the German School of Athens is addressed not merely as function – as by convention we know – but as contributor to the actions of the small pupils, as material semiotic system involved with them through a network of interactive relationships. This is an approach which is based on the stance that architectural space is not idle, that is not sufficient to measure it geometrically in order to understand it.
On the contrary, it constitutes an internal, inherent and transformable part of human daily life.
The established “neutral” proposals for preschool facilities that we know of in our country seem correct in one sense: about what they say; but what they omit, is the most important. They are proposals based on “logic”, “order” and “safety”, but they are not proposals for running, for carefree wandering, for fruitful “contrasts”, for situations “out of control”.
Thus, a need emerges: “to think the ‘unthinkable’,” as E. Grosz writes, “to imagine an architecture “outside” the boundaries of until now”.The architectural synthesis focuses on the experience that the children will gain through their cognitive and emotional correlation with the building. Thus, it introduces a new, “small geography” of the world, an unexplored “place of miracles”.
The design addresses the Kindergarten as an object/toy in a scale of 1:1. The volumetric, shaped by white (main building body) and wooden parts (semi-open spaces), has sought inspiration in the modules of a “Lego” type system that, when added together, formulate the final composition. The Kindergarten of the German School of Athens was nominated by Mies Van der Rohe Foundation for the “2015 Mies Van der Rohe Awards – European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture”.
Moreover, it was awarded with Honorable Mention in “2015 Domes Awards” for the category “Best Built Work of the years 2010-2014”..