The neoclassical building that houses “Nitra gallery” is located in a historical neighborhood of the upper city center of Thessaloniki, at a short distance from the ancient Roman forum. This part of the city was considered ideal for the project not only for its architectural and historical significance but also because during the past decade it has become a new “home” for the local artistic community. The building, which is an excellent example of interwar architecture of Thessaloniki was completed in 1926 and was renovated in 2006.
The gallery is located on the left edge of the building’s ground floor. Two large openings on the front provide plenty of natural light into the space and enable viewing of the artwork from outside. The facade, which occupies one of the narrow sides of the floor plan remained clear, without any interference or signage. The gallery’s name appears on the glass of the window next to the entrance door. The floor plan is divided into four, almost equal parts. The reception desk and the office are located on the right side of the floor plan, in front of the main entrance. Behind the office, a small storeroom was created and just behind it the washroom. The entire left side of the floor plan was reserved for the gallery. Towards the back end of this side, where natural light is insufficient, is the projection space. On its left side is a narrow recess in the wall, covered with three large doors in order to create a second hidden layer for storage purposes.
In order to gain the maximum free space for exhibition, all other functions (office – reception – warehouse – wc) are concentrated in the same area of the floor plan, which is highlighted by the cozy plywood paneling. The office is open from both sides towards the gallery, in order to achieve easy access and best visual communication between these spaces. Two separate workstations and a spacious cabinets system along the right wall were incorporated into the office area. The cabinets cover the storage and archiving needs of the gallery, while the top side of the lower cabinets serves as a counter, at the same height of the desks. The door that leads to the storage room is also made of plywood and therefore, the background wall of the office appears uninterrupted. The first workstation upon entering the gallery also serves as a reception desk.
In order to achieve adequate lighting for both the overall space and the exhibited artwork, in-ceiling light fixtures were mounted centrally on each of the three exhibition sub-spaces, as well as LED spotlights running on white rails, covering the lighting needs of the artwork.