Aspropyrgos is an area outside Athens with a large presence of gypsies (roma), some with permanent houses while others live as nomads. Their innate propensity to music was at the start of the idea of a music library for the children of the gypsy minority. During the first stages of design it became evident that only a small percentage of gypsy children could read whereas almost all of them could play a musical instrument. It was thus decided to create a music library, rather than a conventional library having only books. This library would focus on the teaching of instruments through the use of books.
The site chosen was within walking distance of most of their homes. This was deemed necessary in order to encourage frequent use of the library's facilities.
Inspiration for the building came from the “treble clef” to which it owes its form. The pitched metal roofs and the metal cladding on the walls both refer to the characteristics of gypsy houses and to ephemeral structures. The interior consists of a large open space with a number of small music booths protruding from the basic volume of the building.
The open-air amphitheatre is aimed to encourage public musical events and also other activities highlighting the special gifts of this often-maligned part of the population of Greece.
Design completed 2001
Architects Sgoutas Architects
Structural Engineers Ch.Kechris & Associates
MEP Consultants Tekem Ltd.