The architectural concept behind the proposal for the new NAMS facility is not only to celebrate the legacy of ancient Sparta but also to create a modern monument for the future – a building that will place modern Sparta on the world architectural map.
Although the museum remains the main core of the use of the new building, the program and spaces that are created adds an additional identity to its function: A state of the art research and development facility for archaeology that will become a point of reference for the city of Sparta. A facility that will be able to accommodate a number of high profile events as well to become the new place to be for entertainment and recreation.
The proposal links the museum with the heritage of mythical Sparta from antiquity to the present day, associating the museum’s location with the neighboring archaeological site, the excavation findings as well as reconnecting Sparta with Taygetos and Evrotas. Additionally, the proposal connects the new museum to the abandoned listed building whilst promoting and contributing to the architecture of Zenetos building as a representative example of the Greek post-war industrial architecture which will now be complete with the new extension.
The existing listed building will house periodical exhibitions, educational venues and all other uses that will operate independently of the new museum. The in-between space between that is created between the existing and the new building is becoming a new exciting space full of opportunities. A flexible spacious 11m high space that can accommodate a wide range of uses that forms the transition to the exhibition spaces.
The main building will house the permanent exhibitions as well as the labs/workshops, the administrative support offices and the storage facilities of the museum. From the north, the large openings offers natural light in the laboratory premises, while from the west the continuous glazing
facade provides unobstructed visual links connecting the museum with the historic site.
To the west, the new public park of NAMS becomes the start and the end of the tour to and from the archaeological site, beginning and ending with the visit to the new museum. A timber elevated platform provides level access and connects the new facilities with the outdoor exhibition areas whilst protecting and displays the buried archaeological finding on the site.
Petros Tsoukalas – OMA