In a very controversial move, the Greek State decided to demolish historically listed buildings so as to open up the urban space in front of the New Acropolis Museum, reneging on its previous commitments. International outcry led to an international architectural competition, whose purpose was to provide a viable design for this important urban space without demolishing the buildings.
We take up the position that the buildings should not be hidden from sight, but rather that, being typical of the Athenian condition into which the new Museum is placed, buildings, museum and urban space should be integrated into a new urban unity. All these elements, as well as the antiquities at the Museum’s base, and indeed the Acropolis itself have a common foundation: the Rock of Athens, and the Attic landscape.
Being the formal base of the proposal, the sculptural element of the Rock is abstracted from the base of the Acropolis onto the rear façade of D. Areopagitou 19, and then folded horizontally into an urban platform and back down to the rock itself and the antiquities at the base of the museum. This way an urban square is formed, which becomes a viewing platform of the Museum itself. The square is connected to D. Areopagitou Street, the main archaeological walk of Athens. Rather than being an “elephant in the room”, the museum is thus united with the city and made a sight on the walk, together with the rock and antiquities at its base. The buildings remain as fragments, connecting the Museum with the multivalent city.
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