Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Greek Independence Day!
In honor of Greek Independence Day I wanted to clue you in on something really spectacular (love that word) in modern Greek culture. The New Acropolis Museum has become a beacon in Athens, just as the Parthenon has. It's official opening will be on June 20, 2009 but already it has quickly become a source of pride for the Greek people. It's incredible architecture and stunning design are not only surprisingly modern but the new building has so many subtle details that reference Greece's most prominent architectural masterpiece.
The design by Bernard Tschumi was selected as the winning project in the fourth competition for the design of the New Acropolis Museum. Tschumi's design revolves around three concepts: light, movement, and a tectonic and programmatic element, which together "turn the constraints of the site into an architectural opportunity, offering a simple and precise museum" with the mathematical and conceptual clarity of ancient Greek buildings.
The museum's website is fantastic. You can see pictures of the transport from the previous museum (which sat atop the Acropolis behind the Parthenon structure--all works were carefully packaged in specially made crates and moved by crane over the city to the roof of the new building.) There are amazing design elements and concepts that were taken from the Parthenon structure and carried throughout the new building (my favorite is the top floor of the new museum, where the Parthenon Marbles are displayed, sits on the same axis as the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis.) The use of natural light and the layout and display of artifacts is unlike an other museum in the world. My father was fortunate enough to take a private tour this past summer and he described is as "breathtaking." I can't wait to see it for myself!