In an age of digital production and distribution of knowledge, the physical space of a university acquires new significance as a social condenser; a symbolic space for collaboration. Particularly in the field of the arts with the abundant production of images and information, a school space becomes a hotbed of ideas and critical thinking; a center of artistic creation.
To be situated on the outskirts of Florina, in Northern Greece, we envision the proposed new school of arts as an extension of the qualities of its surrounding landscape. This unique setting is characterized by a blend of cultures and magical natural sceneries that trigger one’s imagination, and the human urge to explore and create.
The school building is conceived as an immersive environment that breaks the typical boundaries of a building envelope and resembles a landscape of varying spaces, in light, textures, and transparency. It is a spatial ecosystem consisting of a fabric of rooms — flexible in their design and properly equipped to accommodate an array of activities promoting teamwork, creating, and sharing ideas, but also ensuring privacy and reflection.
In this respect, beyond the primary educational spaces, its external and intermediate spaces are given equal importance as areas for people to gather, and for informal dissemination of ideas and knowledge.
As a design proposition, the building has been conceived as a piece of infrastructure. An expansive roof covers the areas of the building program and effectively regulates the quality of light that enters the school. Under the roof, a field of parallel walls varying in length and width is the main organizational device of the interior of the building. These linear elements, besides being the main structural system of the building, house all its auxiliary areas, such as storage areas for tools, paints and other materials, as well as sinks, restrooms, and personal cabinets for the students.