The first green museum in Greece, where Plato's Academy was located

Athenian firm Tsolakis Architects will design a new archaeological museum, largely underground, in the park that once housed the famous philosophical school.

Shortly after the announcement of the new Archaeological Museum designed by David Chipperfield, Athens has announced the construction of a second museum, nestled in Plato’s Academy Park. Born out of an ideas competition that opened in August 2022 to create a new archaeological museum and the country’s first “green museum”, the winning design bears the signature of local architectural firm Tsolakis Architects. It focuses on the harmonious symbiosis of two opposing forces in the region: the impenetrable mass of the city and the enclosed grove of the park containing the archaeological excavations.

Archeological Museum of Athens, Plato Academy Park, Athens, Greece. Courtesy Tsolakis Architects

Most of the museum’s surface area will be located underground, creating smooth outcrops and pits that enhance the character of the site. The museum interacts with the existing terrain and is harmoniously transformed into a solution that serves as a hybrid of architecture and topography.

In this way, the architecture emphasizes the topography of the site at hand, creatively integrating both the landscape axes and urban planning of the city while incorporating the archaeological finds within the space. The plan creates a rectangular void in the center that divides the space into four distinct wings, while the roofs rise from the ground to form sloping, accessible surfaces that extend the existing planted area of the grove while providing comfortable conditions of natural lighting and ventilation for visitors and workers.

On an area of 14,362 square meters, the idea is to construct a building will be bioclimatic and leave no environmental footprint, while providing seamless access for people with disabilities. An open amphitheater with 500 seats is planned to be built in the surrounding area. At the same time, as part of the city of Athens’ promotion of Plato’s Academy, there are plans to redesign the green area with the creation of a park under the banner of sustainability and future viability.

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