Gennadius library museum.
extention and renovation
2013 - 2017
The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) strives to maintain and enhance its position as the preeminent centre for the study of the Greek world from antiquity to the present day.
The preserved building of Gennadius Library is situated next to the main American School campus, at Kolonaki area. The Library has become an internationally renowned centre for the study of Greek history, literature and art, from ancient to modern times.
Within the framework of upgrading the functionality of Gennadius Library and optimizing the management and display of the library’s holdings, the new project concerns the reconstruction and renovation of the West Wing of Gennadius Library (700 m2) that has never been renovated since 1970. Additionally, an underground extension to the west of the existing building is created, providing an exhibition space and additional stacks area, in a total surface of 665m2.
The existing West Wing's building retains its shell, whereas all the interior levels are reconstructed at the same level with the library and the new building, in order to achieve functional connection. The two new underground levels will provide library bookstorage space and reading area, while the two levels above ground are connected to the Gennadius Library levels, where office spaces and one seminar room are located.
The new museum building, adjacent to the Gennadius Library West Wing, is constructed with two underground levels. The second level houses library bookstorage area and carrels, allowing the reorganisation of the library's collections. The first, partially underground level, shall operate as an exhibition space, providing also access for public to library's collections. The shape of the new building was driven by the decision to preserve the tall pine trees of the existing Gennadius garden. The new building has one half-buried elevation, with a ‘strong’ free standing wall that creates the main entrance of the museum. The external wall follows the existing masonry base of Canaday House and it is constructed of travertine stone in a ventilated facade, without competing or imitating the surrounding buildings, but only by adapting and communicating aesthetically with the existing complex.