ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW

 

The Neohellenic Architecture Archives

13 September, 2010

The Neohellenic Architecture Archives

An important data bank for architectural history.  

By Alexios Vandoros

Greek version

The Benaki Museum founded the Neohellenic Architecture Archives in April 1995 to fill an existing gap, by setting up a collection devoted to modern Greek architecture; N.A.A. are the only organised archives of their kind in the country. They include information relating to the evolution of civic architecture in the Greek State, which information had been hitherto scattered throughout various private and public collections in Greece and abroad, largely undocumented except for a few references in papers and publications.


Therefore it was recognised that, in order to assist research into the original appearance and evolution of modern Greek cities, it was essential to collect all documents relating to the architecture and history of buildings and open spaces into an organised archive and to classify them. This need was especially pressing since the rapid increase of contemporary urban growth rates frequently resulted in the alteration and destruction of urban centres. Regarding Athens in particular, the creation of such an archive was urgent, since few examples remain from among the multitude of buildings that gave the city its historical appearance.

The aim of the Neohellenic Architecture Archives is to collect, record and classify all information related to modern Greek architecture, urban design and topography, whether printed, visual or oral, including drawings, models, maps, engravings, photographs, manuscripts and letters.

The collection is focused on the period from 1828,date of the establishment of the modern Greek State,  to the present, and comprises original archival material and copies from private or state collections in Greece and abroad.


A significant amount of information has been gathered from Greek architects and civil engineers who worked in Greece and abroad, as well as from foreign architects who lived and worked in Greece. The documented material constitutes a data bank available to all individuals researching architectural history.

A small but significant section of the N.A.A. is occupied by material on the 19th century. Of particular note are: the Lysandros Kaftantzoglou archive, individual drawings by Stamatis Kleanthis, Eduard Schaubert, Ernst Ziller and Anastasis Metaxas, plans of the city of Athens, etc.

The archival holdings are exceptionally rich as regards the architecture of the middlewar, a period where the eclecticism, the movement of return to roots and the modern movement coexist in Greece. A large number of drawings, either in the form of the organised archives belonging to architects of the 1930's (Nikolaos Mitsakis, Kyriakoulis Panayotakos, Alexander Dragoumis), or of individual architectural works (Vassilis Douras, Ioannis and Stamo Papadakis and Panos-Nikolis Tzelepis) are preserved at the N.A.A.


 

 

Archives of professors of the Greek Schools of Architecture are being kept at the N.A.A, including those of Alexandros Nikoloudis, Emmanuel Kriezis, Ioannis Despotopoulos, Solon Kydoniatis, Kyprianos Biris, George Skiadaresis, Ioannis Liapis, Alexander Zannos, Anastasia Tzakou, Dimitris Fatouros, and Maximos Chrysomallidis, Dinou Papaioannou. One of the most important acquisitions is the archive of professor and great master of architecture, Dimitris Pikionis, a collection of about 4.000 drawings, which is also found on the N.A.A website.

 


Other archives or parts of collections include the work of many prominent Greek architects. The drawings for the Xenia hotels commissioned by EOT (National Tourism Organisation) from Aris Konstandinidis, D. Pikionis and H.Sfaellos are also included.


On the frame of their effort, N.A.A has established a significant core of research and study of Neohellenic architecture and urban design, and on the same time it has organized events and published books, independently or in collaboration with other organisations and institutions.

The N.A.A has been a member of ICAM (International Confederation of Architectural Museums) since 1998.

You may found rich archival holdings on: http://www.benaki.gr/index.asp?id=10204&lang=gr

Drawings of Ioannis Despotopoulos, Nikolaos MitsakisPavlos Mylonas, Dimitris Pikionis, Haralambos Sfaellos, and also the collection Konstantinos Biris, have already been uploaded on the website of the Archives.



Neohellenic Architectural Archives

138 Pireos & Andronikou St. 118 54 Athens
dcna@benaki.gr
Wednesday - Friday: 10:00 - 13:00 (upon request)
They are closed on Saturday, Sunday and holidays.

The archives will remain closed to the public from January 11th 2010 to April 11th 2010 due to major filing re-classification.

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