The open-call architectural competition focuses on designing the New Archaeological Museum of Sparta. A museum set to replace the emblematic neo-classical building, which up to these days serves as the sole narrative space for the glorious past of ancient Sparta. Our main aspiration is to design an open and contemporary museum, acting as a public activator, flexible and with great adaptability but still respectful of the listed heritage building of CHYMOFIX. A new space for the city of Sparta to house its contemporary cultural life and local community identity. The heritage building of CHYMOFIX receives public uses, as well as administration and scientific support offices. The listed facade is restored to its original design, while openings to facilitate needs of natural lighting and ventilation are limited in number and occupy the internal non-listed facades. Thus the overall architectural character and aesthetic quality of the industrial ensemble remain intact. The new addition hosts special requirement uses, ensuring all needs of a contemporary museum are fulfilled. Proper exhibition of artefacts, ever- evolving archaeological research, relics restoration and storage are crucial to the museum design.

The museum is conceived as a container which transforms to reflect the exhibition narrative and curatorial nuances. Concepts of T. Zenetos, such as flexibility and mobility of architectural space, the reversibility of designed buildings and respect towards the archaeological site, form the core of the new building and its adaptation to the curatorial study.

The permanent exhibition is wrapped in a kinetic double-skin facade. The interior part formed by fixed glazed awnings while the exterior is clad in pre-assembled vertical louvers frames. The dynamic reconfiguration of the kinetic facade, follows the exhibition design needs, constantly altering the perception of the museum, while allowing visual connections to the site’s archaeological findings and the landscape of Sparta. Concepts of heightened visitor’s engagement and connection to the scientific process have been equally important to the museum’s spatial configuration. Through strategic decisions on both museum spaces and the landscape, we are aiming towards a shift of curatorial focus. Following international paradigms on contemporary museum curation we propose focusing on the process and dynamic user experience rather than the single object or the stiff museum hierarchy. The New Archaeological Museum of Sparta acts as a great opportunity to combine seemingly opposite spatial and cultural traces. A new equilibrium shall emerge bearing respect for the past but keeping one eye on the future.

Architects Micromega

  • Location Athens, Sparti, Greece

  • Status Proposal, Architectural competition for the New Archaeological Museum of Sparti

  • Project Architects Alexandros Zomas, Mara Papavasileiou

  • Project Team Anastasia Drougka, Dimitris Papageorgiou, Fereniki Fotopoulou, Ioanna Alexiou, Fanny Pucci

  • Structural Engineering Nasos Mantzanas, Fotis Kondis

  • Mechanical Engineering TETRAS A.E.M.

  • Client Region Of Peloponnisos

  • Size 9500m2

  • Project Year 2019