Archeological museum of Sparta

architectural competition
Design by ahylo architecture and chadios + associates
Architects: Ioulietta Zindrou, Dionysia Daskalaki, Konstantinos Chadios, Naya Tritaki, Natalia Giaouri, Penny Papargyropoulou
Design Team: Manos Markakis, Evridiki Markaki, Aggeliki Lalaouni, Katerina Mpoulougoura
Cosultants: Andreas Kourkoulas (architect), Manolis Manios (Construction Engeneer), Marianiki Koutsoukou (museologist – archeologist), Aris Tsagkrasoulis (Bioclimatic Design)
Location: City of Sparta | Greece
Competition: Archeological Museum
Organization: Municipality of Sparta
Gross floor Area: 10.000 sqm
Year: 2018-19



Moral debt: from the Great Rhetra to The Categorical Imperative of Kantian ethics

Sparta creates superheroes – “Atlantes” able to overcome natural laws and bear the burden of both keeping the city safe from hostile intrusions and the high moral weight of the Spartan ideology.

Taken that a city’s archaeological museum is a venue of understanding and relating to the location and its culture, the Archaeological Museum of Sparta is designed as a place that highlights the city’s ideals and a museum that helps to understand the Spartan legend. Historical findings highlight the notion of Overwhelming the Human Power (IPERVASIS) to be the characteristic feature of its history which has shaped its culture.

The idea of the proposal is to lift the building structure above the terrain as an architectural transcendent gesture. The museum is composed as a raised monolithic superstructure above the sacred ground which is considered as a dynamic excavation in continuation.

Sacred Ground

The plot of the museum is a significant and historically location, where an excavation research is under way. Taking advantage of the peculiarity of this natural territory of the “new city over old”, the design proposes its universal release from building blocks and invasive constructions.

Elevated Volume

The ideological construction for the Archaeological Museum of Sparta, which defines the architectural concept of the Museum as an exhibition building of Idea, sums up the proposal’s options for the management of spatial structures and morphological tools. The release of natural soil leads the elevation of the building structure above it, as an architectural gesture of overcoming, hovering over the “holy ground” of the dynamic excavation, placing the museum in point supports as a bridge infrastructure.


The new museum is developed by two interdependent elements in dialogue: a suspended monolithic superstructure over a field of dynamic excavation on the natural terrain. Their relationship consists of a ground sectional channel, a temporal and spatial transition. The museum superstructure develops linearly on the plot towards Evrotas following the existing industrial shell of the Chimofix plant.

The natural terrain is organized in a landscape system of a square excavated archaeological grid, on the north – south axis, which allows for simultaneous research and exhibition of antiquities and reveals the excavation activity as the process that determines the temporal or non – emergence of the historical element.