Plasma Physics Laser Institute

Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL)


The 2500 sqm new facilities for the CPPL are located in a magnificent area in the center of Crete Island, at the city of Rethymnon.

With a view to the deep blue Aegean Sea, the new building addresses the new engineering design needs for an advanced research and educational building for specialized laser.

The architectural concept is articulated around three themes: First, the landscape, or how to initiate a dialogue between the steep slope and the magnificent horizon and sea view. Second, the program, or how to bring together the intricacies of the program and to integrate them into key design principles. And third, the technological aspect, or how to express the CPPL’s technological innovation.

The three themes converge to a building consisting of a solid base, the horizon traced through the transparency of an essentially void ground level, and a linear floating “beam” suspended over the ground-floor void. Robust solidity vs lightness, transparency and suspension of any weight become the architectural themes. The concept is translated to a synthesis between the dark / solid / earthy on one side and the white / technological / floating on the other, with the horizon trapped between the two.

Following strict requirements, the laboratory is essentially an independent compound, autonomously based on the ground and not connected with any other element of the building (even its roof is not accessible). It creates an access platform for the rest of the building.


Architectural Design: Rena Sakellaridou, Morpho Papanikolaou, SPARCH Sakellaridou / Papanikolaou Architects

Collaborating Architects: M.Anthopoulou, A.Boudouridou, E.Papaevangelou, Ch.Tsiraggelou

Structural Engineers: K.Polychronopoulos, Ch.Makris

Mechanical and Electrical Engineers: EL.TE.ME. Ltd


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