The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art presents the exhibition “THESSALONIKI 1912-2012. ARCHITECTURE OF A CENTURY” from 15 February to 14 April 2013. The exhibition is co-organized by the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, the Modern Architectural Archives of the Benaki Museum and the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and was originally presented at the Benaki Museum (18/10/2012-25/11/2012) with great success and now “returns” to the city of Thessaloniki and the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art. The museological and museographical diligence is directed by the architect and architectural historian, Proffesor Vassilis Kolonas in collaboration with MSc architect Alexiadou Sotiria.
In 2012, 100 years since the liberation of the city, the change of the city’s image is ambiguous, multidimensional and highly impressive. Events such as the World War I, the great fire of 1917, the study and implementation of the new plan, reconstruction, post-war reconstruction, the great works of the decade 1955-1965, the establishment of the Faculty of Engineering and general building regulations, constitute a milestone in the evolution of urban space and the starting point for a thorough analysis and presentation of the architecture.
The evolution of eclecticism, dominant architectural power in Thessaloniki during the period of Turkish rule, in a variety of types and forms closely associated with the modern Greek reality, but also the international architecture trend (modern movement, Art DeCo), marks the change of the city’s image, always open to new ideas, which fits dynamically in the Greek state.
“THESSALONIKI 1912-2012. ARCHITECTURE OF A CENTURY” aims to present the iconography of the city, through the typological and morphological characteristics of the buildings. The basic criterion for selecting the projects presented in the exhibition of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art is their representative capacity for a certain type of building or architectural style, the identity of the owner-operator and the importance of the mandate in the production of the architectural work. The buildings presented, are demonstrating the potential that Thessaloniki had to evolve in a city different from today, if these buildings were the majority and not the minority in the final selections of owners and organisations.
The exhibition mainly presents implemented projects, while the main research goal was to identify the original material, drawings and photographs from the time of completion of the buildings in order the effect of the architectural intent and the registration of the building in the urban landscape to be seen. The research in the archives of Thessaloniki Urban Organisation, in the Archives of Modern Architecture of the Benaki Museum, in photographic and personal files of various architects, and the indexing of the daily and periodical press revealed unknown details and suggested infamous architects with remarkable architectural projects.
The absence of modern memory is huge. Shortcomings and omissions in such an effort is inevitable. Especially in recent decades, where the buildings have not yet been recorded in the collective memory as facts of urban space, the choice is difficult and premature. In each period the dominant trend is evident in the architecture of the city. The transition from one period to another, reveals a different city in coexistence or confrontation with the past. The years homogenize the differences and through the volumes of concrete, someone can still discern that is not impersonal, and this is what should highlight.
Thessaloniki, despite the morphological and spatial variations, never ceased to be what everyone wants to think and believe about its own city, with buildings, traffic problems, the lack of green, but also with this irresistible charm that its buildings still have, symbols of the image that the exhibition attempts to present.
Working days & hours:
Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday: 10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday: 10:00 – 22:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 15:00