21 December 2012 – SBO and UIA Announces the Winners of the international architectural competition “Innovative Bioclimatic European School in Crete, Greece”


Athens, 20 December 2012 – The School Buildings Organisation [SBO] and the International Union of Architects [UIA] are pleased to announce the Prize Winners of the international architectural competition “Innovative Bioclimatic European School in Crete, Greece”. First prize has been awarded to a Team led by Greek architect Theodora Kyriafini. The Jury Panel, consisting of nine international judges, has selected the winner amongst the 134 entries. The Architect Team awarded the first prize will sign a contract with SBO for the next phase of the project in order to implement the detailed design study.

The winning design proposal is based around a series of courtyards that act as the core gathering places, in the heart of each school. Natural ventilation and shading is being used to create a comfortable environment. The Cretan tradition is reflected with the use of rough unrefined materials such as stone, rammed earth and timber combined with contemporary techniques and technologies to meet contemporary construction needs. The Jury Panel reported: “This is a delightful school complex that students and young children will really enjoy. It brings nature into its heart and at the same time a stimulating and inspiring environment. The kindergarten children will particularly enjoy the ‘Mitato’ style napping area. The courtyards and school layout should make the building easy to use”.

The Jury Panel looked for designs that included flexible teaching and learning environments that are ‘bioclimatic’ and Eco-friendly, well planned and orientated to the sun and the wind and relate in scale to people and the surroundings. After three days of long and carefully deliberated sessions, which included detailed review of each proposal, the Jury Panel was unanimous in choosing the five prize winning entries but also three non-monetary special mentions.

“The success of the competition is reflected not only on the quality of the winning design, but also on the quality and quantity of the entries that SBO received” stated Herakles Droulias, the CEO of the School Buildings Organisation, and continued: “We look forward to working closely with the winning team and ultimately transform their vision into the new European School Complex in Crete. Utilising architectural competitions as a tool for innovative design always receives excellent reviews from the architectural community and we expect to set an example for other organisations. We sincerely thank the Technical Chamber of Greece and the International Union of Architects [UIA] for their invaluable support”.

”We are extremely excited and honoured to have won the first prize” said Theodora Kyriafini, the Team Leader of the First prize winning Team, ”The ultimate objective of our proposal was to bring joy to the young students and set a stepping stone for a positive change of the education model in Greece”.

The winners list:

Winners Architect – Team Leader Country Entry Code
1st Prize Winner [30,000€] Theodora Kyriafini Greece EU4777
2nd Prize Winner [20,000€] Platon Issaias Greece LL1010
3rd Prize Winner [10,000€] Taymoore Balbaa Canada AM3877
Honourable mention [5,000€] Evangelos Ravanos Greece SY0570
Honourable mention [5,000€] Niculae Grama Romania GN2104
In addition to the above prizes and honorable mentions, the Jury unanimously decided and issued 3 special mentions without monetary prize to the following entries:

Special non-monetary mentions

Athanasios Bampanelos Greece MB1325
Giorgos Mitroulias Greece AA7787
Klaus Roloff Germany me4082

Overview of the Competition

The School Buildings Organisation of Greece [SBO] in association with the International Union of Architects, through its international Work Programme Architecture and Renewable Energy Sources [UIA-ARES], launched on 24 April 2012 a competition for the design of a European school complex in Voutes, Heraklion, on the island of Crete. There were 134 entries submitted out of a total of 373 registered offices from 57 counties.

This innovative and bioclimatic complex will serve the needs of the European Network and Information Agency – ENISA, based in Greece since 2005. It should reflect the multi-cultural character of the complex, ensure good quality teaching, use renewable and efficient energy source and be a state of the art complex. The competition was open to licensed architects worldwide and multidisciplinary teams led by an architect. The competition language was English.

International Jury

The International Jury was composed by the following members: Antonio Riverso, Architect, Vice President of UIA, region I, Italy, Prof Ben Nakamura, Architect-Planner, Kogakuin University, UIA representative, Japan, Jure Kotnik, Architect, alternate UIA representative, Slovenia, Angela Brady, Architect, President of RIBA, UK, Prof Ferruccio Favaron, Architect, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, Alastair Blyth, Architect, OECD/CELE representative, UK, Sissy Kopana, Architect, SBO representative, Greece, Myrto Papadatou, Architect, alternate SBO representative, Greece, Nikos Fintikakis, Architect, Technical Chamber of Greece representative, Greece, Damianos Abakoumkin, alternate Technical Chamber of Greece representative, Greece, Prof Eleni Mantziou, Architect, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens representative, Olga Pappa, Architect, Greek Association of Architects representative, Greece.

1st Prize


2nd Prize


3rd Prize


Honorable Mentions



more information on the competition website: www.seeh-competition.gr