SILO MUSEUM OF UNDERWATER ANTIQUITES
Piraeus is the largest industrial center of the country and the largest commercial center of the Greek economy, while its character is determined by the function of the port. The idea of developing the Cultural coast comes from life itself and the operation of the port, a space with constant movement and heavy traffic, with a blending of functions and constant promotion to a large amount of passersby. The main aim of our proposal has been the creation of a space that would be a cultural attraction without "eroding" the image of the harbor. We did not want to create a utopia, without any connection to the past, and we did not aim to only care for travelers-users of the port.
So our intervention responds with two "systems." The first, which is the most organic, arises from the hill, the land stretching out towards the port, "breaking" existing natural and artificial boundaries and gestures towards the industrial port area. The natural landscape is fragmenting obeying the rules of the artificial ground of the harbor. We adopted the grid as an organizing system for the Cultural Coast at level 0, and added recycled containers that are being reused to integrate important functions and uses. The containers were selected both for practical reasons and for reasons of their integration into the landscape of the port.
The Museum of Underwater Antiquities, based on the same concept, blends also into the landscape. The new ground connects the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Underwater Antiquities, the hill and the harbor, a gesture that links the land with sea, soil and marine antiquities,t he city of Piraeus with the New Cultural Coast.
The new Museum of Underwater Antiquities negotiates the relationship of humans on the one hand with the earth, the soil, the wheat, and on the other with the water, the sea and shipping. The building develops on three levels, each of which creates a unique attraction for visitors.
The base of the building gives the impression of a section of the new ground and creates a new elevated landscape. The main exit of the museum at the end of the single flowing narrative exhibition is at this level. The public gradually descends towards the coast and the sea through an elevated park.
The middle part of the building is enwrapped by a double skin glass facade that surrounds the core of the tanks of the existing building and simulates the transparency and reflection of the water. During the day the glass reflects the constant mobility of the harbor, the sky and the sea while at night the existing building is revealed to the visitor. The main core of the silo building with the tanks is conceptually divided in two main sections. The first symbolizes earth and is shaped with five plateaus at different levels, linked together by an upward path that surrounds them. The second section of the tanks represents the seabed .
The crowning of the building is realized by placing a surface on top of which, which independent volumes of containers incorporate different uses and functions of the Museum. In this way a new deck is created which offers visitors a panoramic view of the port as well as outdoor and semi-outdoor recreation areas.
The aim of our architectural proposal is not a brand new iconic building, or a luxurious museum. The aim is to create a dialogue between the new building, the port of Piraeus and Athens of today. The existing building of the silo is mainly a grain storage container. All we actually propose is a change ofthe content. Instead of the food for the body, the tanks will now store food for the mind and spirit, the culture of marine antiquities.