In December of 2013 a new 270 sq.m. chamber was delivered to the children of the Rehabilitation Center in Voula, filling the residents with enthusiasm and joy. The initiative of the restoration “Big Smile Project 2,” is a sequel to the excellent work of NGO Tandem and courtesy of Mattel Children’s Foundation. The design and construction was assigned to the architecture firm “schema architecture & engineering” of Marianna Athanasiadou and Christos Stavrogiannis.
The aim of the proposal was to create a pleasant, warm and safe environment within the context of an economic and feasible implementation. Key element was the creation of personal space for each child. The chamber accommodates eighteen children of various ages and difficulties, thus different needs and capabilities. The spaces created serve these special circumstances.
The sleeping spaces were approached in two different directions; the hiding spaces and the nooks. In “hideouts” perforated wooden panels created rooms that offer both isolation and optical continuity, while in “nooks” the bedside façade wall has been fattened in such a way that the beds enter deep in this wall embracing it, thus allowing privacy within a common room.
The public areas were treated as places of concentration and play, reorganizing substantially the different functions, while the ramp that connected the different levels became a unifying element that symbolized sky, earth and seabed. Finally, it is important to stress that the success of such a project is based on the acceptance and proper use by its residents. In this context, Tandem, with the completion of the project, supported the children and staff psychologically, to ensure that the children will develop habits that will make their life in their new home optimum.