The Problem:

In recent years, marine mammals, dolphins, zifioi and many other fish have been washed away on the west coast of Corfu. Such phenomena are observed across the Ionian Sea and the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The vast majority of these fish live in the lower layers of the sea, so we conclude that the problem is not detected in surface but in the sea's bottom.

Searching for the causes of the problem, we identify a number of facts that affect the marine ecosystem in the Adriatic and Ionian:

- According to data from the great Italian environmental group ''Lega Ambiente'', the last 30 years about 50 ships loaded with toxic waste, have shipwrecked in the Mediterranean Sea.

- During the recent war in the former Yugoslavia, NATO bombers landed depleted uranium bombs in the Adriatic sea.

- Across the northern Ionian and southern Adriatic are made repeatedly underwater surveys to identify hydrocarbon reserves. These surveys use sonar equipment, which according to scientists affects the nervous system of fish.

- Martial exercises of Greece, NATO and Italy also make use of sonar systems.

- Countries around the Ionian Sea (Greece, Albania) , and those of the Adriatic (Italy, Croatia, etc.), use the marine ecosystem as the final recipient for their wastewater (domestic, industrial, agricultural, etc.).

- Overfishing of the seas has considerably reduced fish stocks and disrupted the food chain.

The position:

The choice of the location for the Eco-Conservation Centre of the Adriatic and Ionian Sea was based with a very important criterion; proximity and direct intervention in the study area and the availability of infrastructure (port, road, etc).

The chosen site is located on the island of Corfu, near the small port of Agios Stefanos (Latitude :39 ° 45'5 .99 "N, Longitude: 19° 37'56 .51" E). It is a strategic and geographically protected area, situated between Italy and Greece, between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas , which has adequate road connectivity with the mainland of the island of Corfu town and airport.

The port is located next to the small traditional village of Agios Stefanos. The surrounding area is a well developed tourist destination, but there are no major hotels or complexes to disturb the environment. The green hill of the site ends in the blue waters of the Ionian giving a mesmerizing sight, and the picturesque harbor with fishing boats moored exudes a serene beauty.

The building:

The goal is to create a building, which function will contribute in solving the problem of pollution of the sea and the protection and conservation of marine life.

The architectural style chosen was based on the integration of buildings on the landscape, the use of natural resistant materials in the marine environment and the building to be as much as possible energy autonomous.

The ground facilities of the building consist of:

  • Chemical - biological laboratories which undertake the analysis of the quality of marine water, so the scientists can monitor the pollution, record and evaluate the environmental impact of human activity and study the techniques for dealing with the pollution.
  • Research Laboratories , to develop new techniques for decontamination.
  • Facilities for training the staff to work in the building. Also , the site would serve environmental education for students or visitors.
  • Meeting facilities which will be able to serve government or government agencies , scientists and environmental groups.
  • Exhibition space which will provide information in the public with permanent and periodic exhibitions, informing the public on the operation of the center, the progress of the various environmental disasters, effects and technologies to address them, etc.
  • Offices and areas of temporary accommodation.

The maritime center facilities consist of:

  • Wharfs where vessels will aground, coming from the shipwreck or contaminated area, and bringing along polluted water samples in order to measure the nature and extent of pollution, and the direct effects on marine life.
  • Seawater tanks in which in-extinct fish species will be cultivated. The fishes, when enough grown, will be released to the marine ecosystem.
  • Underwater generators that will produce electricity from the wave energy, in order to cover the building's energy demands for its operations. The generators are integrated into the building's infrastructure through accessible paths, which, when the weather allows it, act as local walks in the sea.


Grigorios Zochios - Dimitra Zochiou

Architectural - Technical Office

5, Alkinoou Str. Corfu

Greece 49100

 (0030) 26610 44490

 (0030) 26610 28262

Out-Of-Office Hours:

 (0030) 6944 384 820


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