The project involves the architectural design of the ground floor of a neoclassical listed building located in the center of the city of Chania. The building dates back to before 1928 and required a thorough renovation and redesign to create a functional layout.
Preservation of Existing Elements
A key feature of the building is the roof of the ground floor, which consists of parallel steel beams forming small arches with bricks in between. This technique, known as “kappendecke” in German, began to be used in the 19th century as a structural system for floor ceilings in residential buildings. The roof in the listed building was preserved and remained visible after the necessary study, reinforcement, making it a prominent feature of the new space.
Taking into account the distinctive roof, the high ceiling of the ground floor, and the shape of the facade, the total space of 37 m² was designed with the office area organized in an open-plan layout with bright spaces to enhance human interaction and collaboration. The layout is divided into two zones: the main working area and the auxiliary functions of the kitchen and the restroom. These two sections are separated by a partition that follows the slope of the metal trusses of the vaulted ceiling.
A central element of the space is the special wooden library construction, which defines and organizes the meeting room and the first office. The second office construction folds into its extension, creating waiting areas.
Integration of Lighting
The full utilization of the facade openings maximizes natural light during the day. The ceiling lighting has been designed to emphasize its shape and the linearity of the supporting steel beams. Thus, two levels of lighting have been created: diffuse lighting for the general illumination of the space and focused lighting on specific points to highlight different elements of the composition.