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I.E.S. (Interactive European School)

I.E.S. (Interactive European School)

Interactive European School


The elementary school will be constructed in a partly urbanised area, 22 kilometers south of Athens’ city center. The school will host a total of 288-320 children, six to twelve years of age, for grades one through six. Aiming for the highest educational standards, the school supports traditional, innovative and alternative educational practices and methods for learning. The adoption and implementation of a curriculum based on a holistic educational approach aims at the development of every pupil’s intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potentials, moulding the character of the next generation of world citizens. Social and environmental awareness, socialization, individualism, information technology and arts are all essential factors integrated into the coursework at I.E.S.
This innovative design allows for a highly stimulating environment, which facilitates the learning practices adopted by the educators as well as engages and inspires all pupils to develop their personalities and talents.


The school is situated on a mountain slope outside the suburb of Varkiza. The orientation of the site to the East, the surrounding hills to the north, and the natural mild slope of the ground provide an interesting physical environment for an ecological design approach.
In the heart of the school lies an internal oval atrium, formed from the boundaries of two curved wings of classrooms. It is a multi-purpose space where all classrooms have direct access to and where both formal and informal events and activities may take place. Within it, pupils can find educational materials, playgrounds, meeting rooms, notice boards and a restaurant.
The building takes advantage of the natural slope of the site and provides all classrooms with direct access to the surrounding playground. Classrooms can be united for shared activities, or lessons can be performed outside in certain areas next to the classrooms.
Classrooms may accommodate up to eighteen children, ensuring a personal relationship between tutors and children and providing a small circle of classmates, suitable for socialization and friendship. The small groups contribute to the development of individual’s skills and the understanding of individual needs and sensitivities. Furthermore, spatial characteristics at I.E.S. encourage social behavior and the dissemination of knowledge between different ages.
The school administration is aware of the psychological shock sometimes imposed on younger children due to the departure from home. The design tackles this problem with unique classrooms and a dedicated outdoor area for each one of them. The architects created easily recognizable, friendly nests, provoking the feelings of belonging and companionship. Additionally, the classrooms for younger pupils are equipped with their own restroom areas for lessons in personal hygiene. The proposed layout is ‘fully inclusive’, and pupils or staff using wheelchairs have access to all internal and external facilities.
The environmental awareness of pupils and the ways in which they entwine green practices into their lives is of major importance at I.E.S. The building is a first rate example of sustainable design and the main instrument of the adopted educational program on environmental awareness and green human behavior. It encompasses various sustainable solutions such as the extended use of green roofs, use of geothermic energy for heating and cooling, water treatment, hybrid ventilation systems, intelligent control of light and shade, sea water for the swimming pool, and appropriate plantation for protection from sunlight and wind. The roof of the atrium is equipped with an ETFE material cover and electronically controlled openings, providing the benefits of a fully controlled greenhouse.
The character of the school reflects the educational philosophy and ethics of the school’s management. The learning process is based on the active participation of pupils, the development of personal skills and social interaction.
The proposed design creates a learning environment, as well as a teaching instrument, easily adaptable to current and future educational methods. The school provides a safe and stimulating environment for pupils and staff. Children are taught to develop critical thinking, rather than rote memorization, and to communicate their views.
The design makes extensive use of information and communications technology (ICT), which is considered an irreplaceable tool within the educational process. Children take advantage of the integration of technology in their educational programs and through opportunities for further communication and information gathering. Computer use is an internal tool of the teaching process. The school has adopted the standard one laptop per child, electronic blackboards, the use of wireless network inside and outside the building and tele-education. Children and parents have controlled access to the school database, educational program tutorials, workshops and pedagogical aids.
The business plan foresees the continuous use of the facility for at least fifty years. However, it is not feasible to predict the educational methods in use and the available technology of the future. The design offers classes and auxiliary spaces with the maximum degree of flexibility and adaptability.
Site Plan
Site Plan

Lower Level
Lower Level

Upper Level
Upper Level


Lead Firm
Manos Perrakis & Associates S.A.
Manos Perrakis – Architectural design
Tsagrasoulis Aris - ThetaSIM Building Energy & Lighting Simulation
Team Members
Gregory Cambitsis principal architect - Manos Perrakis & Associates
Phaidon Perrakis project architect - Manos Perrakis & Associates
Evaggelos Voumvoulakis - Liontos and Associates, structural engineers
Dimitris Mantas electrical, mechanical engineer
Harry Yahnees 3D Visualisation

Demesticha str 4,
166 72 Vari, Attica
Tel: +030 210 8974 143, Email:

Estimated Cost: $4,000,000
Commentary: Construction work to start on December 2009.


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