Tina Columbus's profile

Experiential Museum, Interior Architecture

How does it feel to work underground and not being able to take “two breaths of air”? 

What is the feeling of losing something that until now was taken for granted, like the sun, the smell of sea?

These are exactly the questions that this Museum answers.


The goal of this research is to examine the prospects of restoration and revival of an industrial complex, included in the facilities of the Technological and Cultural Park, in Lavrion, Greece. A Museum, has been selected as the most appropriate utilization, as Lavrion is an area with a multiple social, political, economical, historical and scientifical dimension.

This Museum redefines the typical concept of similar spaces, proposing a different approach to the knowledge and the education. The main subject of the museum is the extraction of ore, the first and most important stage of metallurgy.

Through the Museum the visitor comes in contact with the history of Lavrion and its people.  

The interior concentrates on the semantic interpretation of the miners’ descent into the bowels of the land of Lavrion and the exploration of the passages underground.

The space is used as a medium that unfolds and draws the audience into a journey through spacetime. The visitor takes on a different role, forgetting his personal reality and problems, he becomes part of the dark side of nature.

The visitor interacts with the spatial qualities of the Museum, as the space “unfolds” and reveals a story.

In design, the structural interventions respect the monumental character of the industrial complex. The forms used follow the concept of the existing ones and compose new spatial qualities that are in full accordance with the buildings.
The educational process of the Museum is analyzed into two main axes: the experiential and the realistic, two completely contrasting interpretations of space, both of which, however, are part of a unified whole. As a result of this co-existence renders, the visitor is able to seek on his own the offered knowledge.

The axes are full of contrasts. Even though, the visitors’ movements, the exploration of the space, and the design differ, in both axes the visitor stands at the center of the narrative.

The Museum appeals simultaneously to all visitors, but in a different way to each one. The experience is personal, as his psychology and personality defines the discovery.

The development of this spatial narrative is similar to the interplay between the actors and the spectators of Greek Tragedy. The visitor experiences a number of different psychological situations. The Myth of the Underworld is underlined in the first stages of the experiential axis. The visitor discovers in stages his personal truth, reaching Katharsis in the last stop.

The information are conceived by addressing his psyched, by inspiring his emotions, by triggering his doubts, by causing reactions and eventually by taking root deeply in his memory and becoming part of his experience.
Through this emotional journey the visitor becomes curious and seeks the knowledge in the realistic axis that follows and completes the Educational experience.

The project highlights the industrial landscape and present the history behind it, rather that untruthly prettify its environment. The interesting structures of the Park are located at a site where environmental pollution still exists, preventing Nature to grow vigorously.

“ Two breaths of air: Experiential Museum in Lavrion ”, diploma thesis in the
Technological Educational Institute [TEI] of Athens, presented in January 2015.
Tutor: Dr. Maria Moira, architect
Explore the full project on Issuu.
Experiential Museum, Interior Architecture

Experiential Museum, Interior Architecture

This project explores an alternative type of Museum that attempts to trigger the visitor's interest to the highest level. This Experiential Museu Read More