The main aim of the project was to restore and upgrade the church, the convent, the undercroft and the crypt. The architectural plans implemented were therefore meant to enhance the architectural and archaeological value of the complex. Following the excavation of buried areas in the undercroft, the area would be upgraded to accommodate new functions. This would be done by creating new structures, bridges, elevator, lighting and other architectural elements that facilitate the use of the space. Here an interpretation centre would be developed through the conservation and proper exposition of heritage assets thematically.
Moreover, apart from the structural interventions mentioned above, a conservation strategy for the proper registration and maintenance of exhibits in the proposed museum was to be implemented. Therefore the proposed the interventions were deemed crucial in promoting the architecture and urban history of the area not only by upgrading the general conditions of the church and the convent, but also by re-using areas of the complex to create a recreational/tourism space within the museum including uses such as: a cafe, toilettes, a library, and a conference hall.
Proposed Works – The Design & Restoration Strategy
The first intervention will involve providing access to the museum gallery from the roof, where one can fully appreciate a wonderful view of the dome and the tower bells respectively. A lightweight path above the roof made in wood steel and glass will connect the elevator leading to the gallery entrance. The existing museum will be converted into the library entrance where one wall will be removed to create visual permeability into the space that will house a permanent exhibition of portraits and furniture.
Meanwhile, at ground floor level, a cafeteria will be introduced and in the meeting hall, the staircase removed. Here the ceiling is composed of a half dome and barrel vault that will be preserved while the wall facing onto the courtyard will be replaced by a glass partition in order to generate double height permeability along this plane. Furthermore general restoration works will be carried out in the storage room, the archives, the sacristy and the praying room in order to preserve the architectural and structural integrity of these spaces.