The Corversion of the Fix Brewery into the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens, Greece
Kalliope Kontozoglou Architects

Architect: Kalliope Kontozoglou in collaboration with 3SK Stylianidis Architects


The History

In 2000, the long deserted Fix brewery, was selected as the permanent house of the newly founded EMST. The 1957 design, stressed the horizontal aspect of the structure with linear glazing. With his work, Zenetos wasn't merely seeking to house an industrial unit, rather, he was interested in the future functions of it under various conditions.
Despite the demolition of half the building, there was still significant unified spaces at a volume of 90,000m3 for the gathering of the Museum's main functions, such as permanent and temporary exhibitions, admin, archives, library, lecture room, labs, bookshop, café-restaurant etc

The Design

On the banks of the buried river Ilissos, EMST inhabits the brewery. Something new is being born out of this union. The 2 facades designed by Zenetos are maintained. The 2 new elevations reveal the forgotten topography of Athens. The "section" of the river bed with the sedimentary bed rock rises out of the ground and is suspended as a giant "curtain"- within the exhibition spaces lie hidden. At street level, a water wall slides between the collections and the ground.

Today the building "floats" amidst a sea of vehicles. It is surrounded by a narrow pavement, which encircles it like the "wake of the boat" and the Bus Interchange. What it lacks in space outside, it is offered inside. The Museum returns to the city what it has taken away: a foyer and a space 30 m high, which reveals perpendicularly "the archaeological findings’’ of the plot: Zenetos's elevations. From the top the first level of the flat roof can be reached and then the Sculpture Gallery. Here in a garden-labyrinth, furtive views of Athens are revealed.

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