Kois Associated Architects were asked from the patrons of the Museum of Cycladic Art (MCA) to present a proposal for the redesign of the museum’s public image and the enhancement of its urban presence and degree of public interaction.
MCA is situated in the centre of Athens, where public open space is scare and the building density is high.
The museum’s existing facade is reminiscent of museum typologies’ facades of the International Style, encased within the tight urban fabric. The larger portion of the facade area is covered with reflective glass panels, which on their inner side are covered with rigid panels to prevent sun to reach the exhibition rooms where steady conditions of lighting are required. The function of the windows becomes secondary.
Kois Associated Architects designed a facade that will work with the current one and will enhance the museum’s presence. The proposed facade is designed to provide shade and privacy in the desired location, act as a thematic scheme for the museum and constitutes a pause to the visual ambiguity of the aggregation of buildings that comprise the street facade.
The museum facade floats above the street in order to create a clear and unmistakable entry point, to draw people from outside, to provide shade, shelter and an urban meeting point. The proposed facade creates a new entrance and connect the atrium that is flooded with light during the day with the street. The atrium with the café and the nearby shop becomes the destination of the route, an oasis of light and vegetation in the interior of a building block. This inner open space building provides for “stasis” in a state of constant urban kinesis.
The new facade comprises of an array of vertical elements in a calculated synthesis. The careful arrangement of the vertical elements resolves certain problems of transparency, privacy and lighting conditions manifested in the previous façade. The linear synthesis was inspired by natural Cycladic rock formations and alludes to the fragmented landscape of their origin. The outline of an anthropomorphic figure is created by the topological differences of the elements of the synthesis. It is a tectonic version of the Early Cycladic (2700 BC) marble head figurine, of Spedos variety, part of the collection of the MCA.