The University of West Macedonia called for an Architectural competition for the Preliminary Design of the School of applied and fine arts in florina Greece. The site under study is situated at the outskirt of the city of Florina and is a part of an existing area, where the school of Pedagogy of the University of West Macedonia already operates.

Year  |  Competitions        SIZE  |  5000sqm.      LOCATION  |   Florina, Greece

TEAM   |   Architects: E. Hadjinicoalou, C. Psathiti            Consultants: S. Xenopoulos          Collaborators: C. Karadima, I. Leontis,  K. Kalsifas, I. Telidou

The proposal approaches space and more generally the notion of architecture as a medium for learning (architecture as a pedagogical device)

School of Applied and fine arts
School of Applied and fine arts

Conceptual Design

In relation to the specific proposal the main objectives are related to the notion of space and more generally the notion of architecture as a medium for learning (architecture as a pedagogical device). As a consequence to that, the proposal is related to:

The development of a workshop space which will be continually transformed through time.

The integration of the notions of innerness and openness. The workshops are clearly identified but also have the spatial possibilities to be transformed. At the same time, the main movement corridor can perform as a space for movement, a foyer and a space of multiple activities (exhibitions, performances etc). Lastly, workshop spaces can be expanded to the central corridor through movable partitions.

The creation of valuable connections of the inside and outside space both on the ground level (patios, courtyards etc) as well as on the first level (terraces).

The expression of simple forms which on the one hand, encompass their own identity and on the other hand are not dominating physically and iconically on the students’ art work.

The integration to the building design of elements and specific characteristics of the specific site (i.e. environmental, climatic, historical, ecological aspects)

More specifically, the main concept regards the composition of a solid building volume, to the North, which is decomposed into smaller volumes to the South and is gradually integrated with the external space.  The decomposition of the building is also appearing through the proposals of free-standing walls and cubic volumes of different sizes scattered all over the external space. In fact, the compositional ideas of external space follow the main concept of the overall project.

The above elements constitute the means through which different activities and students’ encounters can be achieved, producing a continuous space constantly in transformation. A definitive feature of the total design is a steel roof independent of the other structures. In fact, the roof is a folded shape structure that is like a flying surface over the overall design and to some distance of the structures below. This characteristic of the design allows the exposed streel trusses and mechanical infrastructure to be visible from the main workshop areas.


As regards the building’s materials, the specific climatic conditions of the site in relation to memory and related atmospheres of corresponding examples in the history of art schools, were the main factors for the selection of the building’s materials. More specifically, different construction techniques, combination of colours and materials can be found in the overall composition. The building’s skin is protected externally by an insulated brick wall, while walls’ basic construction material is the fare faced concrete

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