The Benaki Museum exhibition space in the restored and expanded central building complex Vassilissis Sophias & Coumbari 3 Athens, 1989-1996

The adaptation of the available space within the restored and structurally compatible with the demanding use listed building complex of the Benaki Museum, including the additional space offered by the recently constructed new wing completed in 1989 was a challenge. It involved the  usual conflict regarding respect for the important building but also respect for the extremely important exhibits of the museum. Various spaces were completely transformed to best suit the exhibition needs for particular objects/collections. Functional wall-mounted showcases with appropriate lighting and security, were  hidden from sight with appropriate modification of room, air-conditioning was also discretely hidden from sight through appropriate slits in the walls. Shadow lighting in appropriately modified ceilings of several rooms and special provisions in the modern new wing that featured an open ceiling approach. A meticulous succession of atmosphere to match the exhibits from early and classical Greek to medieval Christian Byzantine as well as folk art and recent history of Greece. Most demanding installations and special room design, in tandem with the two-storey  common reference space centrally introduced by the study to serve as a reference point in the visitors tour of the museum, are accommodated within an important building but alas posing with many restrictions as to the options available to the layout of the exhibition. The new modern stairway in the new wing together with a new flight of steps added to the oldest stairway of  the building, assisted circulation within the exhibition.

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