||Foundation of Research and Technology, Hellas
(Forth), Heraklion 1987-94
This is the main
building of the new FORTH campus and Science and Technology Park. It
is situated outside the Heraklion, adjacent to the new campus of the
University of Crete.
The Foundation was established ten years ago
under the name of 'Research Centre of Crete'. It was then a research
wing operating in close association with the university (most of its
founding members are on the Faculty). In subsequent years it has acquired
a national and international stature, which is now reflected in its
expanded role and change of name, to FORTH. The Foundation comprises
seven institutes; four are accommodated in this complex in Heraklion,
the remaining three in Rethymno, Patra and Thessaloniki. The centre
is the first of its kind in Greece, and its construction has been partly
financed by the Mediterranean programmes of the European Community.
The natural landscape and splendid views of
the mountains and the Mediterranean have contributed to the genesis
of the concept. As with the other campus buildings designed by the architects,
a conscious attempt has been made to establish a strong relationship
with the place (topos). Consequently, the four buildings are organised
along a street galleria (dromosstoa}. They are, in succession, the institutes
of Molecular Bioloy and Biotechnology; Electronic Structures and laser
Technology; Computer Science; and Computational Mathematics.
The juxtaposition of diverse forms seeks to
evoke the memory of buildings, spaces and images from the classical
and vernacular architecture of Greece and the Mediterranean.
Three of the four buildings are on the same
level as the galleria: the fourth is lowered in keeping with the natural
slope of the site so that its roof becomes a large terrace, furnished
with an open theatre and pergola. The galleria, 75 metres long and 15
metres high. lies on axis with the mountain range. It is the major circulation
and social space of the project - an urban 'connector' structuring a
complex based on the idea of a 'citadel-agora' which celebrates, as
in ancient Greece, the unity of nature and man, space and horizon.
The structure is in reinforced concrete throughout.
Walls are of concrete and clay blocks with aluminium windows and glass
blocks. Floors are covered in marble in the public spaces and special
vinyl in the laboratories.
The protect was designed in 1987 and completed
in December 1993. It was undertaken in association with the Technical
Office of the Ministry of Industry, Research and Technology and the
technical staff of FORTH.
Photos: Ch Louzidis assisted by E Panousi