Temple of the Sun

The Temple of the Sun is a multifunctional space for the slightly older children of the camp on Lesvos, realized in 2022. Under the large pointing triangles, they have room for imagination and play, social activities and relaxation.

Following the concrete pathway along the plant beds, the children can either access the space by the poetic arches or enter directly through the open front and back. There, the first thing that draws their attention is the extra wide swing, which invites them to engage together in thrilling motions. Since the swing can be taken away thanks to its clips, more room can be made for creative expression on the yellow chalkboard, a warm color chosen for its ability to elevate the mood. Children can also choose to relax in the handmade hammock, knowing there is a place for them where they can release the pressure of the camp off their shoulders.

Together with the Pergola and the Playhouse, the whole area comes together, accommodating the different needs of all children, and nurturing their senses. The three structures together have a complementary effect on the overall space, connected by the plant beds which turn the space into an unified area.

The architecture

The six meters high structure is visible from far away, both inside and outside the camp, drawing the children’s curiosity towards the education area, the seven wooden triangles at the top blend with the natural background of the hill. Combined with many ornaments and high transparency, it radiates a unique subtlety throughout the area. Closer by, the structure looks like a small chapel, filtering the light through the wooden beams and ornaments. It feels like a small temple, a sacred space for children to elevate their mood and reflect a sense of dignity. Therefore, we came up with the name ‘Temple of the Sun’.

Architecturally, the structure recalls features of both the playhouse and the pergola. It is foremost complementary to the pergola, flipping the triangles with their points up and shifting from a horizontal character to a more vertical orientation, where a spectacle of light unfolds itself. At the same time, it is the bigger brother of the playhouse, matching the scale of the older children, while including similar elements for creative expression and play. 

Location | Lesvos, Greece
Date | May – June 2022, 5 weeks
Partner | NGO Metadrasi
Project | Outdoor multifunctional space; creation of timber structures, play elements, and decoration of space
Dimensions | 4 x 3 x 5.5 m, space for about 12 children