The new Acropolis Museum to open in June
300 metres south east of the Acropolis stands the site of the new Acropolis Museum, due to open on 20 June, exhibiting four thousand artifacts from ancient Athens. Directly linked to the city by the Athens Metro, the museum will provide ten times more space than the original museum on the Rock.
Designed by French architect Bernard Tschumi, aided by local architect Michalis Photiadis, the construction of the 14,000 sq m building has taken five years at a cost of €130million.
The entrance to the Museum is announced with a large concrete canopy protecting a display of archaeological ruins below. The Museum contains the Parthenon Gallery, the glazed exterior of which reflects the Parthenon itself. Elsewhere on the exterior, deep set windows are shielded from the strong glare of Greek sunshine by concrete panels articulating the facade.
Both exterior and interior present bare formed concrete as the primary material. Interior concrete walls on the glass stairway leading to the Archaic Gallery are punctuated with sound proofing pits, while the area is illuminated by natural light provided by the atrium above. Light wells in the ceiling of the Archaic Gallery permit natural light to gently fall upon the statues which will be mounted in this space.
Niki May Young
To read about the controversy surrounding the return of the Parthenon Sculptures to Athens then click here to read Peter Hancock's comment.