|The Neohellenic Architecture Archives
The Benaki Museum’s Neohellenic Architecture Archives were founded in April 1995 to fill an existing gap, by setting up a collection devoted to modern Greek
architecture; N.A.A. are the only organised archives of their kind in the country. They include information relating to the evolution of civic architecture
in the Greek State, which information had been hitherto scattered throughout various private and public collections in Greece and abroad, largely undocumented
except for a few references in papers and publications. Therefore it was recognised that, in order to assist research into the original appearance and
evolution of modern Greek cities, it was essential to collect all documents relating to the architecture and history of buildings and open spaces into an
organised archive and to classify them. This need was especially pressing since the rapid increase of contemporary urban growth rates frequently resulted
in the alteration and destruction of urban centres. Regarding Athens in particular, the creation of such an archive was urgent, since few examples remain
from among the multitude of buildings that gave the city its historical appearance.
The aim of the Neohellenic Architecture Archives is to collect, record and classify all information related to modern Greek architecture, urban design
and topography, whether printed, visual or oral, including drawings, models, maps, engravings, photographs, manuscripts and letters.
The collection is focused on the period from the establishment of the modern Greek State (1828) to the present, and comprises original archival material and
copies from private or state collections in Greece and abroad. A significant amount of information has been gathered from Greek architects and civil engineers
who worked in Greece and abroad, as well as from foreign architects who lived and worked in Greece. The documented material constitutes a data bank available
to all individuals researching architectural history.
A small but significant section of the N.A.A. is occupied by material on the 19th century. Of particular note are: the Lysandros Kaftantzoglou archive,
individual drawings by Stamatis Kleanthis, Eduard Schaubert, Ernst Ziller and Anastasis Metaxas, plans of the city of Athens, etc.
The archival holdings are exceptionally rich as regards the architecture of the 1930s. A large number of drawings, either in the form of the organised archives
belonging to architects of the Modern movement (Nikolaos Mitsakis, Kyriakoulis Panayotakos, Alexander Dragoumis), or of individual architectural works (Vassilis Douras, Ioannis and Stamo Papadakis and Panos-Nikolis Tzelepis,) are preserved at the N.A.A.
Archives of professors of the Greek Schools of Architecture are being kept at the N.A.A, including those of Alexandros Nikoloudis, Emmanuel Kriezis, Ioannis
Despotopoulos, Solon Kydoniatis, Kyprianos Biris, George Skiadaresis, Ioannis Liapis, Alexander Zannos, Anastasia Tzakou, Dimitris Fatouros, and Maximos
Chrysomallidis. One of the most important acquisitions is the archive of Dimitris Pikionis, also a professor of architecture.
Other archives or parts of collections, acquired through donations or loans, include the work of many prominent Greek architects.
The drawings for the Xenia hotels commissioned by EOT (National Tourism Organisation) from Aris Konstandinidis are a prized donation.
The N.A.A has been a member of ICAM (International Confederation of Architectural Museums) since 1998, and wishes to be in contact with similar
organisations and institutions in order to establish a significant core of research and study of Neohellenic architecture and urban design.