Monday, March 25, 2013

Future Acropolis Museum

Recently, in the context of the AHO RESTORE studio I'm teaching with Espen Vatn on Alteration as a critical device, I had the chance to hear Christos Papoulias describe his seminal, critical, independent to the myriad competitions proposal for an Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Christos described the rock and it's many phases as atemporal, eternal.
the proposal focuses on a now invisible gap between two of the holy rocks' phases, the Mycenaean and the Classical 5th century AD, when the rock was significantly expanded to it's current retaining wall.
one of the excavations in the early 20th century uncovered the gap between the two walls
the gap is now only visible through a series of shafts left by the archaeologists. Those shafts and the now buried gap between the two retaining walls of the acropolis became the site for Christos Papoulias' proposal.

the walls of his museum would be the originally visible base 17m high base of the parthenon. 
the floor would mimic the roughly poured concrete that the archaeologists have long used to make the slippery rock accesible by visitors. It is a material that Papoulias suggest will look old even when its new.

the area of the museum would inhabit the south and south east part of the acropolis plateau
while remaining entirely below the ground surface

the museum
the floor of the museum would be a series of carefully placed platforms

 the interior of the museum is entirely made of the walls and ground already existing on the parthenon. the space would allow one solitude with the statues, a bridge of time.


the scaleless space is gigantic, with 17m high ceilings
inside the gap

the existing shafts together with a few additions would bring light down into this Erichthonean space

roof plan with southern slope antiquities

the museum would be visible only through it's entrance. And would offer an exit down to the south side of the acropolis hill, through one of the existing caves. One would exit onto the slope and visit the fascinating but mostly overlooked by tired tourists theater of Dionysus and other sites.
Christos finished his presentation by suggesting that this museum would certainly not be built in his lifetime. But lets hope Greece evolves up to that task at some point in a better future.
The drawings from The Erichthonean Museum belong to the collection of the Pompidou Center in Paris.
(the project was last presented at the 3rd Athens Biennial, Monodrome)