New Museum of the Acropolis

Poised on the lower slopes of the Acropolis, with the patherton outlined against the sky, this modern museum sits perfectly in this ancient and historical cityscape.  Indeed, on excavating the chosen site, a settlement from early Christian Athens was uncovered.  The solution was simple; the museum was designed to ’float’ above the archaelogical excavations with glass floors allowing them to be both preserved and revealed.

The building’s strong clean lines and geometric shape – a rectangular top floor sitting on a trapezoidal lower floor – are a 21st-century interpretation of the classical proportions of ancient Greece.  Everything is reduced to simplicity, both in materials and color palette – glass, concrete, marble – to allow attention to be focused on the museum’s contents.  Galleries are sober, airy spaces, with double-height ceilings, vast concrete pillars and natural light filtered through light wells.

The top floor Parthenon Gallery, a rectangular glass ‘box’ surrounding a courtyard, parallels the orientation of the original Temple of Parthenon and is supported by the same number of columns.  It provides the ideal light, and heat, conditions to both showcase and protect the Temple’s marble statues.  The direct visual link between the gallery and the Parthenon provides a beautiful symbiosis between the ancient world and the modern.

Type of building: Museum

Architect: Bernard Tschumi Architects, Michael Photiadis

Brand: Interpon D1036