The Ministry of Culture invited, after pre-selection, 8 teams to submit preliminary designs for the extension and conversion of the listed “Arethousa” building to house the Archaeological Museum of Chalkida. Our team was awarded the 2nd prize.
The existing Arethousa building is characteristic of early 20th century industrial buildings. It is located on an important crossroads of Chalkida, giving the project considerable public exposure.
The design aimed to harmoniously combine old with new, with the old listed building accommodating all the exhibition areas and the new addition accommodating all the workshops, stores and administration.
The volumes, façades and signature chimney of the original factory building were retained but were to undergo extensive restoration and repair works including facades, roofs and internal load-bearing elements. Internally, and very particularly in the multi-level exhibition areas, it was aimed to highlight the distinctive architectural and constructional elements of the building including its face-brickwork walls. The central void allows for the visual connection of all levels.
Glazed corridors act as links between the existing and the new building, thus aesthetically disassociating the two. This constituted the major design decision of the project.
The new building, located behind and parallel to the old one, has a simple form with no protrusions or recesses, thus not competing aesthetically with the more elaborate existing building. An integral part of the design was the creation of an outdoor sculpture gallery in a part of the site that has been screened by planting.
The buildings cover an area of 3480m².
Sgoutas Architects in collaboration with Petra Cooperative
Liontos & Associates