STUDENTS PROJECTS

PROJECTS 2011

New National Library of Athens

07 March, 2012

New National Library of Athens

Back in 1833, the architects Cleanthes and Schaubert designed the "Historical Triangle of Athens" and managed to set a clear geometrical contour within the Greek capital's urban fabric, which so far remains unchanged.

Greek version


Students: Daskalakis G., Bourganou A.
Advisors: Yannoudes S.,  Tsakalakis D.
Technical University of Crete, Faculty of Architecture
Academic Year: 2010-2011

 

 

Back in 1833, the architects Cleanthes and Schaubert designed the "Historical Triangle of Athens" and managed to set a clear geometrical contour within the Greek capital's urban fabric, which so far remains unchanged. The "Triangle", hosting buildings, spaces of varying character and identity within, is a profitable ground for new theoretical or design architectural approaches. Defining as study area the symbolic and non-existent third square of the "Triangle" between the Ermou and Pireos streets, this thesis proposes the placement of the "New National Library of Athens" at the specific location.

This double function building, acts both as a "closed" shell and an "open" square that tries to prevent the privatization of urban space through social integration. The New Library located at the heart of the city (Kerameiko's Park), utilizes the pedestrian part of Ermou as the entrance axis of the walker in the building and resets greenery through a linear park that simultaneously performs the role of a visual bound. At ground level the unobstructed movement, which follows the natural slope, aims to lead the walker almost in the center of the building, below the main atrium, which is 30 meters high. At this point, the big height, the diffused light, the unblocked views and the clear and readable organization of the building, predispose in psychological and emotional terms for what follows on the above floors. This kinesthetic result can spatially drench the walker and lead him to library's main volume. Going up, the walker will be participant of a continuous route, which toggles within the book storage and the reading space, having as final destination the green roof with the outdoor reading room, where he can enjoy the different sights of Athens.

The reading spaces, used for the "just-received" information, have been placed around the volume that accommodates the books creating in this way a spiral movement. The design goal was the perception of the book storage as a great mass, a solid volume, which contains all the information. Moreover, from the baseline of the designing process, the need for creation of a "special" space where information will be edited and converted into knowledge was fundamental. Hence, in order for this process to be achieved, the social interaction and communication between the visitors were considered as necessary. The result of this reflection was the design of a second volume, which accommodates both this special space as well as space for art works and research, improving in this way the functional program of the New National Library.

Finally, the need for a free circulation at the ground floor, led to a thorough research. The result was the design of a metal load-bearing structure, consisted of frame structures, columns and joints, which guarantee the building's stability. Furthermore, the issue of sustainability was an additional design rule, in order for such a public building to meet the needs for "natural" isolation and ventilation. Main role in this aspect and in the building's form played the motorized ceramic louvers, which cover as a second skin the biggest part of the building.

 

 

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