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BENAKI MUSEUM
PIRAEUS STREET, ATHENS

shortlisted in
architectural 
competition

The present proposal for the new building of the Benaki Museum in Peiraios St, Athens, with full acceptance of the frame of the existing building, responds to the main demand of the project for flexibility and the capability of absorbing constant future alterations of the functional and museological programme.
Diaphanous or solid partitions, movable or sliding, make it possible for the spaces to function independently or together, for them to be united with the atrium or to be isolated, to support one or many cultural events at the same time. In the maximum deployment of the spatial unification systems, an exhibition extending to all the premises which surround the atrium could be accompanied by a concert, with a central semi-open-air podium and an audience of more than 1,200 around it: in the amphitheatre, in the atrium, in the surrounding porticoes, on the terraces on the south-west. At the same time, however, the minimum use of the amphitheatre is possible, without this depending upon the joint operation of other units of the building complex. It is on the same logic that the other spaces are articulated. Occasional sheltering of a part of the atrium with detachable awnings enhances the ‘scenario’ of the ‘polymorphous’ space, and provides a solution to issues of partial roofing of open-air events.

January 2001
client
Benaki Museum

project team
Y. Kizis, N. Venianakis, D. Leventis
M. Raftopoulou

civil engineer
V. Koumousis (consultant), V. Varouxakis