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Chapel in the surrounding area of the children oncology unit Hope, Athens, Greece


The chapel is a functional addition to the building to fulfil the need of parents and children to pray as they find themselves in a psychologically sensitive condition. It is founded in the North-East section of the building in its wider surroundings and is formed as a clear geometric form of a rectangular solid following the typology of a domed basilica implemented in traditional small churches. The solid is slightly rotated in relation to the basic axes of the existing building to have the appropriate alignment on the East-West axis. The simple, austere architectural expression of the chapel expresses the modesty and sternness which befits a space of prayer and piety. In contrast with the exterior, the interior of the temple is granted a more mystical, spiritual feel, their common element being the intrusion of light. The positions of the images on the side walls are defined by the chapel’s typical program of iconography. Specifically, small niches are created which, as they are projected on a sloped level, leave openings through the roof so the images are lit by natural light from above. The openings on the dome’s drum are a similar gesture. The openings are placed in such a way as to create an image of the Pantokrator ‘floating’ with a filter of light in-between. Similarly, the light in the altar by transforming the niche of the altar as a recess of the wall and simultaneously a deviation from the vertical as a motion of inviting grace through natural light. In the entrance façade the sign of the cross creates an imprint of light on the wall as it marks the point of entry to the church. A similar imprint is created in the altar’s wall as a place of sanctity and consecration.
Collaborators: G. Zoi / V. Tsironis


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