Design and Construction of the Museum of Acropolis

Since the 1970s, the Museum of Acropolis could non get by satisfactorily with the big crowds of visitants.

The insufficiency of infinite caused jobs and downgraded the sense that it was achieved by the exposure of chef-d’oeuvres from the Acropolis Rock.

Apart from the fact that the bing museum was deemed deficient to house and expose the celebrated findings of the Acropolis, it could non expose all the sculptures that were needfully moved from their place for the care work.

For all these grounds, two architectural competitions took topographic point in 1976 and 1979, but without success. On March 12Thursday, 1989, Melina Mercouri initiated an international design competition that as Minister of Culture inextricably identified her policy with the demand for the return of the Elgin Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum. This competition was canceled after the disclosure of a big residential country at Makriyianni site, dating from Prehistoric to Byzantine times. The digging should be included in the New Museum.

Bernard Tschumi faced a immense challenge, when he won the competition for the Acropolis Museum in Athens and he was called to plan a new landmark for the metropolis. Greece had been fighting to go portion of Europe in all possible ways ( politically, culturally, etc. ) since the ‘70s, and that museum would be the chief ally to back up this end.

Grecian political system had since the really get downing focused its attempts on puting up a state that expresses the ideals of a European cultural heritage. The efforts to suit in the western society had started since the terminal of nineteenth century, after the declaration of independency from the Ottoman Empire, and during the period that followed there was a changeless attempt discard all the residues of East civilization. The purpose was to repossess the ancient yesteryear alternatively, and define national individuality and civilisation on that portion of history. Therefore, the remains of the Grecian antiquity became really of import in the defining of the province and society.

The Museum of Acropolis is a political statement of Greece and an instrument for Grecian authorities to send on to western society a new national individuality. This is an individuality that promotes Grecian ancient heritage and preserves it in a high tech twenty-first century shell. Those elements combined, organize a clear position of how Grecian society wants to be perceived today. The purpose is to organize an substructure of equal value with Western Europe, of rich cultural civilisation and high engineering resources which are demonstrated on Tschumi ‘s museum. At this phase the writer would wish to clear up that this is an attempt to interpret and analyse the new Museum of Acropolis, non aesthetically and even more non from a personal point of position, but as a political and cultural statement of what Greek society is seeking to reflect and advance of Greece in the twenty-first century, to western Europe and globally.

Significant location

The site of New Acropolis Museum is the edifice block surrounded by Dionysius Areopagite, Makriyannis, Chatzichristou and Mitseon roads. As a consequence, visitants while researching the archeological sites of the environing countries are of course guided towards the museum, and unconsciously experience a connexion between the antediluvian and modern-day Greece.

The land of the site has a smooth incline, about 8 % downward to the South, and portion of its surface is covered by public edifices, which due to its historical, architectural and morphological involvement have identified as monumental by the Ministry of Culture.

Three architectural parametric quantities reverse the restrictions of the site, in a challenge to make a simple and precise museum uncovering the mathematical and limpid lucidity of ancient Greece the Light, the Movement and the Structure of the edifice.

More than any other type of museums, the information of the new Archaeological Museum of Acropolis are based around the visible radiation. It is chiefly a museum of natural visible radiation with the cardinal intent of “the presence of sculpture” .

The three chief stuffs of the museum isglass,which is used largely for frontages and some floors,concretefor the nucleus and columns andmarblefor some floors. The columns of the E and West facade and the Parthenon Gallery have been constructed from steel.

There is a harmoniousness of proportion between the graduated table of the infinite that leads to the edifice and the graduated table of the edifice itself. Equivalent graduated tables of “ emptiness ” and of “ non-emptiness ” are developed in two axes, one horizontal and one vertical. If the edifice was losing the journey to the entryway, the whole feeling of the museum and particularly the first reaction to it, would be diametrically opposite. Now the visitant is prepared easy and phased into a whole experience which starts before come ining the museum.

Monumental graduated table

There is a relationship of volume between the New Museum of Acropolis and the Parthenon which is really noticeable when reading the site program, every bit good as when populating the part. In an country where the graduated table of environing edifices is much smaller, as the site is located in a domestic zone, those are the lone two elements that stand out, which both are of monumental graduated table.

The ocular relationship to the Parthenon and the landscape

On the degree between the Roman period exhibition and the Parthenon ‘s Gallery there is a communal infinite which includes a bookstore and a dining country. Right in forepart of the eating house a canopy unfolds, which is supported by “ powerful columns ” that define the chief entryway placed right below. The canopy extends from the edifice towards the antediluvian Rock of Acropolis.

The position from the eating house ‘s balcony to the Parthenon is partially blocked because of two neoclassical edifices that stand in forepart of the museum. Tchumi ‘s planning includes the destruction of those which has caused a great field of argument for designers and critics in Greece. Some argue that the canopy is “ absolutely positioned as if to pound into the demolition-endangered abodes and so onto the stone of the Acropolis itself ” as Dr Alexandra Stara says in the Architectural Review, no. 1348, June 2009.

Any solution to this quandary will be harmful merely to architectural creative activity. If the two preserved neoclassical edifices in Aeropagitou Street are demolished, Athens will lose two great pieces of its architectural heritage. If they are non, Tschumi ‘s coveted contradictions will non take topographic point and his architecture will non be completed.

The portion of the museum that contains the most obvious political and cultural statement is the Parthenon gallery. It was a vision by Melina Merkouri, Greek actress and politician ( chief female Minister for Culture of Greece ) , who was the first individual to claim back the Parthenon marbles from the British authorities. Her dream was that the most impressive room of the new museum of Acropolis should remain empty until the marbles go back to Greece. The creative activity of this gallery opens once more the conversation between United Kingdom and Greece for the return of the marbles.

The Parthenon Gallery is a representation of the temple including a big rectangular infinite where the carved marble panels that decorated the original are exposed. The marbles face the issue of heterotopia ( malposition or supplanting of a bodily organ ) , and the Parthenon gallery is designed by the designer with an evident purpose to make similar fortunes between the topographic point of displaced marbles and the existent location where they used to be displayed one time.


The building of the undertaking started at a cost of ˆ130 million in November 2004, and it was completed within the period of three old ages. The Ministry of Culture continued its most of import work ; the exposure of valuable and invaluable exhibits. The transportation of major exhibits to the museum began in the fall of 2008 and it was completed in May 2009. On June 20th, 2009 the Museum opened its Gatess to the citizens of the universe.

Within one twelvemonth from the bright gap twenty-four hours, the new Acropolis Museum has made great feeling, with the figure of visitants making two million. However, it has outstanding issues such as non secured a fiscal independency, legislative acts and assortment of merchandises in the museum store.

Harmonizing to Mr. D. Pantermalis, Director of the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum and subsequently Director of the Museum itself, The Acropolis Museum as a self-funded organisation is confronting fiscal jobs which struggles to be solves. With about 5.5 million income, the museum needs to cover the wages of 90 – 95 % of the staff and functional costs such as electricity, gas etc. which is about 1 Euros. As the Director of the Museum provinces, the economic crisis requires flexibleness and thoughtful version to enable the Museum to travel in front.

Due to the economic crisis and the debt “haircut” the assets of the Museum have been reduced by 3 million Euros and among other things, this caused a long hold to the digging at the base of the Museum, something that it’s pending for the hereafter.


The whole museum is a statement, a changeless statement of the coexistence of antediluvian with modern-day Greece. Tshcumi ‘s design makes the visitant experience a portion of a monumental piece of architecture, of import and alone, about as the Parthenon.

This edifice offers Greece a new national individuality. It demonstrates and promotes what Greece is most proud of, the ancient Grecian civilisation. And all this is placed in one of the most of import technological accomplishments of our times.

But the inquiry that remains is if the museum still expresses the same significances under the current economic crisis that Greece is traveling through.


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