This is a the proposed master plan for a student?s housing for the University of Athens in Greece. It has been one of the most challenging excersice as there was supposed to be an amalgamation of 11 individual plots in a residential area in the city of Athens, with a possiblity of treating them in both ways- independently and collectively. The housing is meant for about 1500 international students who would be coming to the university for various courses and time periods. Our concept is based on two important issues- providing a right balance of privacy as well as social life for the students (as they would be coming from far varied cultures & backgrounds) and maintain a highly innovative approach to treat the common/public spaces as they would be the key to the level of interaction between the students"innovative circulation space" to connect various units.
We?ve tried to achieve this by completely avoiding conventional circulation spaces like corridors in "hostel" and instead connect the rooms/units with more socially active spaces like courts, galleries, terraces, lobbies, etc. Each unit has its own terrace, oriented in various directions and at different levels to make maximum use of climatic factors for an axcellent passive bioclimatic design and to to ensure a private space for the students. At the master plan level, important amenities like a health club with a small pool (in the future case of amalgamation of the sites), a small dispensary/medical clinic, a departmental store and a cafeteria have been placed keeping in mind easy accessibility for all. The cafeteria and health club will be meant for students only, and hence have been placed on the rear sides of the plots. The medical clinic and the departmental store can be more public and have access from the main street. A small retail strip which has beenproposed on the Myllerou Street can have 3-4 shops and can be leased out to private entrepreneurs. The buildings on all the sites have been unanimously placed abutting the front of the site, so that each plot has maximum green space at the rear side.
This will have two advantages:
?The green spaces can be cut-off from the noisy street traffic and ensure a private atmosphere.
?There is a strong possibility of joining these green spaces in the future and convert them into one single big space, which will be more useful as compared to small segregated greens.
Further, the concept of ?WELL? (Water Efficient Lawns and Landscape) gardens can be implemented here, by adapting suitable tree & plant typologies that use minimum water. This would also bring a change in the general appearance of the site, considering that these plant species are not typical of Athens, or Greece in general for that matter. Also, elements like a hovering connecting glass and/or steel walkway between the blocks of the larger site, which also overlooks the large consolidated landscaped green area, can be valuable visual assets to the project.