Living in a society which evolves day by day, the need for development, technological progress and modernization is vital for improving the quality of life of modern man. Research is the beginning of the creation of new innovative technology which can be used for the good of society at large. By addressing research, science and project’s results as a social good and development as a need, we aim to the creation of a Research Center of the Public Power Corporation (PPC). In collaboration with the Democritus University and cement-producing companies, this Research Center will promote research on new technologies for the construction of hydraulic works for the optimum management of water resources. The work is located in the prefecture of Imathia and, more precisely, 6 km from the urban fabric of Veria city, on the artificial lake of Ayia Varvara, which is near Aliakmonas river (Reregulating dam of Ayia Varvara). This scenery was selected for this research because of its strong contrasts caused by the unique combination of the natural environment and human intervention.
The Reregulating dam is perhaps the only work of PPC that grants access to citizens via the construction of an outdoor passage leading to the peak of the barrage, around the dam. The circular outdoor passage was never fully constructed, forcing visitors to walk back the same way. Our synthesis is placed at the natural side of the barrage and it is inspired by the idea of the completion of this circular outdoor passage, as its synthesis is constructed around a bigger passage. As referred, the synthesis is placed in an artificial environment, as it is a major infrastructure project. The idea of monolithicity was inspired by the construction of works of this scale. We created a stable, resistant, monolithic construction which is placed at the scenery and it is becoming its extent by slowly integrating as a functional element. The pyramidal pillars, the laboratories, the main building as well as other parts of the synthesis, seem like they are emerging from the earth, which makes them look more resistant and robust.
This research project focused on the laboratories’ synthesis, which are constructed after a cellular structure placed under a single concrete plaque that promotes optimum air circulation. The laboratory rooms are placed on a single semi-outdoor space which internally connects with the first floor of the main building through a closed corridor network. The corridors lead to the attic of each laboratory, which are used as offices.
By taking into consideration the energy needs of a building of this scale and by taking advantage of the fluctuation of water lever, we designed a building which will operate as a small computer machine which will power the whole synthesis. During the daytime, the water level prices vary from +39.00 up to +42.50.
Our idea is to create a synthesis where research will take place but, at the same time, it will be a public space where events of any kind can be hosted, without hampering research, which is the initial purpose of this work.
The topic of this thesis aims to trouble on matters such as the reverse of sense and the concepts of naturalness and artificiality. Moreover, it tries to change the taboos about the “pure and uncontaminated natural” and the “hostile artificial”. In addition, we want to underline that these two concepts refer not only to materials and forms, but also to the construction of the buildings. Therefore, technology arises as a necessary factor for the evolution of life, but also as a social good produced by research. This thesis attempts to enhance the importance of large technical works as social works and social good producers.