Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis presenting the winning project, Source: City of Athens

Athens to build Greece's first 100% ‘green’ museum

Athens to build Greece's first 100% ‘green’ museum

The building will be on the site of Plato’s Ancient Academy

Yesterday, authorities in Athens announced the creation of Greece’s first green museum. The museum will be created where Plato’s Academy would have been in ancient times. According to the city, the winning design retains some of the open-plan ideas of the academy, incorporating greenery and public spaces.

Additionally, the museum would house unique artefacts excavated during work in the city in the past decades and materials found in the development of the city’s Metro. According to an official statement, their number is around 300,000 pieces that are currently not on display.

The spirit of the location

City officials explain that the project aims to reflect the spirit of the location – Plato’s Academy. In that sense, the architectural design for the museum would have to be open and with long-term sustainability in mind.

The new museum building will open up its design to the public as four wings would enclose a square. Furthermore, the design will feature an open amphitheatre with 500 seats, attached to the buildings. All the built sections, in turn, are supposed to blend with local green areas so that having a picnic and going to the museum can be part of the same journey.

According to Athens’ Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis, the city does not need another fortress museum, but should instead open up to the public and be climate neutral with no carbon footprint. The museum would also be an international hub for the development of scientific and artistic activities, highlighting the timeless metropolitan role of Athens, from antiquity to the present day.

Although the design of George Tsolakis won the public tender, there is still a long way to go before Athens can enjoy its new addition, with funding and development permits in the works. Thus, authorities have yet to announce a budget or schedule for construction.

Mayor Bakoyiannis was quoted in a press statement, saying: "This is a day we have been working on for a long time. We feel a certain optimism because today something new is born, something hopeful. In the archaeological site of Plato's Academy, the past and the future will coexist.”



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