Villa Aimilia, a historic Athenian preschool unit established in 1963, has attained an existing educational building in Psyhico, erected originally in the 1970s, formerly dedicated to children ages 12-18, and required a renovation of the building and the yard in order to accomodate young children at the age of preschool, kindergarden and (later) primary school.
Due to programmatic and regulatory requirements, the school yard (aprox 1200sqm), had to accomodate a basketball court adressed to primary school students, and a playground opted for the children of kindergarden. The two distinct age groups would use the play area during school brakes occuring at different periods within the day. The design aimed to overcome the division of the space created by the distinct uses of the court and the playground, by children of different age and different skills, and blend the two operations in a design that gradually adresses all age groups, from 4years till (ultimatly) 12 years old, while at the same time providing a safe envorinment appropriate for all students.
Thus, main concept was to articulate an architectural vocabulary that is aligned with the scale and the nature of young age and may advance gradually and accomodate growth, both mental and kinetic. The design creates a series of landscape and volumentric events, that children use freely to run/climb/ crowl/jump or hide. In a quest to discover one's physical limits, the outdoor's experiential explorations become the foundation for activity based learning.
At the same time, the color range of the background applies to the space a vibrant spatial narrative. The color palette, aligned with the tones of the surrounding greens, moving towards desaturation from side to side, instigates live and vibrant amusement and inspiration of the social space. The yard creates a playfull environment that enhances free play, creativity, imagination and role play.