On Monday, the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sport released conceptual images of the nine other architectural proposals for the design of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
Ultimately, the winning design belongs to the architectural offices of David Chipperfield Architects and Alexandros N. Tombazis & Associates SA. However, the other designs were also praised by the Minister of Culture and Sports for their aesthetic qualities.
Plans to revamp the National Archaeological Museum were revealed in February, earlier this year. The expansion of the museum will enable the display of more artifacts, of which only about 10 percent are currently shown.
The National Archaeological Museum design proposals
Lina Mendoni, the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports, issued a statement on Monday commending the efforts of the architects who submitted their designs for the museum’s overhaul.
“I must, in principle, emphasize that, as a whole, the proposals are of an extremely high aesthetic level, with a detailed study and vision for the National Archaeological Museum and the overall upgrade of the area of the center of Athens,” said Mendoni.
“I warmly thank all the participants, both for their inspiration and for the harmonious cooperation between the international and Greek architectural offices,” continued the minister.
Mendoni concluded by saying the winning design by David Chipperfield Architects and Alexandros N. Tombazis & Associates SA would enable Athens to bring into fruition “a new museum worthy of the valuable collections of EAM.”
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest archaeological museum in Greece. It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural, and artistic value.
A committee was set up in April 2022 for the new National Archaeological Museum which also includes an upgrade of the old museum, a subterranean extension, and a link with the historic building Acropol-Akros on Patission (or 28th Oktovriou Avenue), the street the current museum is on.
According to the ministry, the committee considered the following points in selecting the finalist: incorporation of elements of a creative relationship between the old and new buildings; quality of spatial experience; sensitivity to museological challenges; integration of urban design in the city; and innovative solution of viability and environmental design issues.
Speaking earlier, before the selection of the winning design, the Greek Minister of Sport and Culture said “We want to have an extroverted museum, in constant dialog with society, and with a dynamic focus to the future.”
The committee included seven members besides the minister, three Greek nationals and four foreign ones. Foreign participants included archaeologists Pierre B. Ducrey and Louis Godart, historian and Lowgill Publishing Chief Christopher Hudson, and architect Meejin Yoon.
Funding for the draft architectural plan was provided to the ministry by the Nikolaos and Irini Lemos family.