The Project

Earthquake rehabilitation and fire protection


In 2015, all three buildings of the Goethe-Institute Thessaloniki were upgraded, under the direction of the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, in particular under the aspects of seismic safety and fire protection. The work took place during ongoing operation and could be completed within the planned time and budget, due to the close and trusting cooperation between project management, planning team, users and general contractors.


The Goethe-Institute Thessaloniki has been housed since 2001 in three buildings of a spacious property south of the city center. Originally the German School was located here. The ensemble with the main building, built around 1930, a landmarked house and a multiply extended newer building is grouped around the courtyard and the garden.


Construction began in March 2015 and was completed in November 2015. In 2016, the garden of the Goethe-Institute was also redesigned.


Structural situation


The most important reasons for the 2015 interventions were the overdue seismic retrofitting of all buildings as well as the necessary measures for fire protection, especially in the main building. The limestone and brick structures were heavily eroded and suffered from repeated earthquakes. The working group of the architect Dr. Thomas Greve and the structural engineer Dr. Antonis Kanellopoulos took over the planning and implementation of the project.


Renovation of the main building


In the main building, seismic retrofitting was also concentrated on the outer shotcrete shell, here as a composite structure with embedded steel trusses. In terms of stability in case of fire, the structure is supplemented on the inside by a new steel structure with 8 columns and beams. Far-reaching measures serve the fire protection with emphasis on the upgrading of the existing escape routes and the creation of new ones by additional external stairs and exits. In this building as well, the renovation of the façade was not only used for energetic upgrading but also for restoring the historical appearance. The green facade to the west with the roof terrace is a reference to the new coastal promenade of Thessaloniki.


On the ground floor, an inviting reception and consultation area has been created, whose luminous ceiling leads the visitor to the multi-purpose area and the event hall.


With limited resources, new spatial experiences were created through individual architectural elements such as lighting, exhibition system and color scheme. In all buildings, the technical equipment was supplemented or renewed. The main building, the library and listed building received new air conditioning. All classrooms have been equipped with cable channels for IT and electrical connections. On the ground floor of the main building, the technical equipment of the new foyer, the exhibition and multipurpose area and the event hall have been upgraded.


Completion of the renovation work

In November 2015, the Goethe-Institute Thessaloniki celebrated its 60th anniversary in refurbished premises, which are now structurally, technically and creatively equipped for its growing role as the city’s internationally networked cultural pole.
In the course of an art project and in cooperation with the planner, a garden was created on the grounds of the Goethe-Institute in 2016, in addition to the interventions carried out




Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany

PLAN EE – Dr. Thomas Greve


Our Scope of Works
Tender, Preliminary, Final Design, Construction Design, Site Supervision

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