- Collaborating Architects:M.Anthopoulou, A.Boudouridou, E.Papaevangelou, Ch.Tsiraggelou
- Structural Engineers:K.Polychronopoulos, Ch.Makris
- Mechanical And Electrical Engineers:EL.TE.ME. Ltd
- Owner:Technological Educational Institute of Crete
- Architects In Charge:Rena Sakellaridou, Morpho Papanikolaou
Text description provided by the architects. The 2500 sqm new facilities for the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers CPPL, an advanced research and educational building housing sub-femtosecond lasers, are located in a magnificent area in Rethymnon, Crete.
A requirement for vibration isolation due to the high-tech lasers, the steep slope of the site and the horizon with the view of Aegean Sea, led the architects to a concept that brings together three themes: the technological aspect, the program and the landscape.
In a dialogue among them, these three themes convergeto a building that consists of: a solid base, the horizon traced through the transparency of an essentially void ground level and a linear floating ‘beam’, a suspended white line that is framing the horizon. The concept is translated to a synthesis between the concrete / dark / solid / earthy on one side and the metal / white / technological / floating on the other, with the horizon trapped between the two.
The base touches firmly on the ground. Following strict requirements, it is isolated from any other element of the building. It houses the laser laboratories and auxiliary areas. Inside the labs, specialized devices ensure stable temperature and humidity conditions, as well as high indoor pressure, achieving a dust-free environment. Special care has been taken for the anti-vibrational laboratory floor, which is completely isolated from the rest of the building.
The base is an independent structure, while the V geometry of the metal structure generates grid subdivisions optimizing the anti-seismic and anti-vibrational behavior of the building. The linear ‘beam’ houses offices and support facilities like a conference room, meeting rooms and a library, With its metal structure that generates openings and grid subdivisions, it stands out in its white color and frames the view, while a ‘void’ ground floor houses the entrance lobby and the restaurant.