National Archaeological Museum

Renovation and enlargement of the National Museum of Magna Grecia

TYPES: Culture
LOCATION: Reggio Calabria
YEAR: 2016
CLIENT: Italian Presidency of the Council of Ministers – Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities
ACTIVITIES: Preliminary and final design
AREA: 10.800 sqm

In occasion of the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification, ABDR studio signed the architectural design for the restoration, enlargement and interior renovation of the National Archaeological Museum of Magna Grecia in Reggio Calabria, following a public tender procedure. ABDR concept is the product of several objectives, such as the restoration of the building designed by Marcello Piacentini during the Thirties, the adaptation to seismic resistant standards, the reorganization of the spaces, the enlargement and renovation of the interior circulation.

A new monumental atrium has been obtained thanks to the realization of a glass roof above the existing courtyard. The roof becomes a glass floor made of large panes supported by a very light metal structure based on a “tensegrity” approach. The apparently random effect results in reality from a rigorous logic based on the equilibrium between elements in tension and compression. This solution also improves the sense of lightness while not interfering with the monument. This large space is dedicated to the ticket office, reception, cloakroom and museum bookshop.

A great permanent installation of the artist Alfredo Pirri has been realized in the atrium.

In the new museum, visits begin on the top floor moving downward to the ground floor and ending in the new hall of the Riace bronzes.

The third floor has been redesigned and completely renewed. The Superintendent’s previous apartment has been reduced in size and redesigned for new administration offices.

A wide ancillary space for recreational uses has been located on the museum rooftop. This new roof garden has a central glass floor which acts as closure for the courtyard below.

The roof garden volumes are protected from direct sun light through a simple metal structure to horizontally screen both the new volume and the glass floor above the courtyard.

All the formerly bricked windows have been opened in order to restore the building’s facades to their former glory, as conceived, designed and realized by Piacentini.