The course introduces students to the architecture of public and institutional buildings, focusing on the case of the museums, Greece’s most representative case. More specifically, it examines the evolution of museums as buildings, and shows how notions of space and spatial organization have evolved with the form of the building: from the variety of spaces for display in the sixteenth century, through the establishment of recognizable architectural and spatial types in the nineteenth century, to the heterogeneity and experimentation characteristic of contemporary projects. Focusing on the latter, it proposes an overview of the recent developments through key tendencies that characterize them: The Museum as a Unique Building, The Form of the Building as an Expression of its Meaning, The Museum and the City.
Within this framework, the course places emphasis on the functions of museums and their expression in the complex building programme; it introduces students to key concepts of the ‘science of museums’ and its relation to the field of architecture and the diverse knowledge fields that are involved in the study of museums and their functions; it presents key issues of museum administration and accreditation, drawing attention to the institutional framework of the functioning of museums in Greece.
The above are approached not only from a theoretical point of view, but also as crystallized in specific cases of museums, in Greece and internationally, that are extensively analyzed during the course of the lectures. Key parts of the course are: visits to museums, invited lectures, and the writing of a paper.