The Greek island Chios, about 70 km south of Lesvos, is less known for its refugee problem than Lesvos but still in need of proper housing, education, and a safe environment for children. The Greek NGO Metadrasi is running the primary school for children right next to the camp. The space consisted of four isoboxes, of which three are classrooms, with a barebones ‘playground’ surrounding the buildings. The school was in need for more education space and a shaded place during the hot summer days.
The project team of ONE designed and constructed a multifunctional outdoor space for the children, that can be used in many ways; as classroom, playground, workshops area, and dance studio. The main focus was to create a strong contrast with the surrounding dull rectangular grey isoboxes. The new addition with its pitched roof, the use of timber, and its simple but fascinating looking façade creates a home-like feeling. The rhythm in both the façade and the roof allows for sun shading during hot days with plenty of indirect light still entering the classroom. The room is decorated with a huge 3 x 2 m blackboard for teaching and drawing, shelves for storage of books, and plants to create a pleasant atmosphere for everyone inside. The huge doors at the front can open wide allowing for two swings the be placed transforming the space in a hidden playground! Two more swings at the back of the room allow for even more fun! A small garden area with plants and pots is created next to the classroom to teach the children the importance about nature and plants.
The project was such a big success! The children and teacher loved this beautiful new addition to the school. Finally they had a proper well tuned space to support there creative ideas that allows for peace and healing. The atmosphere of the school area dramatically improved with the construction of the elegant timber outdoor classroom, creating a bright light for the people around.
Location | Chios, Greece
Date | April – May 2019, 5 weeks
Partner | NGO Metadrasi
Budget | €6000
Project | Outdoor multifunctional space; creation of timber structures, play elements, and decoration of space
Dimensions | 6 x 4.5 x 4.5 m, space for about 16 to 20 children