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Environmental Research and Education Center

Architecture sheet Archipedia

PROJECT BY:  Danai Dafnouli & Paschalina Athanasiadou
COLLEGE:  Democritus Univercity of Thrace, DUTH
COUNTRY:  Greece
AREA: 50 to 100 acres
CATEGORY:  Cultural
PROJECT TYPE: Architectural Thesis
PUBLISHED BY: Archipedia

Our thesis project is about an Environmental Research and Education Center in Porto Lagos, Greece. Porto Lagos is a seaside settlement in the east side of Thrace, only 26 km. away from the city of Xanthi, at the point where Lake Vistonida meets the Thracian Sea. What makes Porto Lagos stand out, is the unique feeling the water element provides, combining the green landscape with the Greek Blue Sea. Lake Vistonida is a majestic natural ecosystem that everyone must see and learn about. The whole area is included in the RAMSAR Convention, an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Lake Vistonida is protected by the E.U. program “Natura 2000”. The concept of an environmental center for Research and Education, intends to raise environmental awareness and to trigger the interest of the public; scientific or not. With this in mind, we decided to design a facility which can promote the lake and the surrounding nature. The main idea was built around a multipurpose public establishment blending in with the natural landscape. Key building blocks were designed as light, non-permanent metal structures. A fusion of paths and roofed elements scattered around the environment, following smoothly the ground’s morphology, are leading visitors on a guided walk around the nature. The composition is divided into three main zones; a controlled public space, open public areas, and private quarters. 1. Controlled public zones support visitors and researchers via: -A Research laboratory with its own library -A two floor exhibition space where researchers can showcase their work and share their results with the audience. -A fully equipped auditorium capable of hosting relevant to the area events (ie lectures, presentations, seminars etc) -A coastal facility that supports outdoor activities providing equipment and training (ie canoe, stand up paddling, fishing etc) 2. Open public areas give visitors and passers-by access to: -A Cafeteria where travelers and visitors can rest with a wonderful view -An elevated pathway that ends with an observation tower equipped with viewing tools (binoculars) supporting birdwatching -A lot of outdoor spaces covered or open 3. Private quarters for researchers include: -Ten dorms that can host a maximum of twenty guests -A common area were researchers can cook and rest together living within the ecosystem. -A Laundry facility and Storage spaces The coexistence of visitors, researchers and passers-by should be achieved smoothly within the site. The combination of these uses is meant to have a positive effect in informing and educating visitors of all ages. Additionally, hosting researchers and selected visitors will help the growth of the environmental center and surrounding area. One of our main concerns was the comfortable access and movement of people with disability problems around the site. For everyone be able to equally enjoy the walk around nature, all the horizontal corridors and paths are ramps with a comfortable 6% incline, and every staircase is accompanied with a lift.

What Danai Dafnouli & Pachalina Athanasiadou feel about Archipedia!

Interesting and helpful architectural collection! Thank you for the opportunity to inspire and be inspired! Keep on the good work, we need these kind of platforms.