Erichthonean Museum of Acropolis / Christos Papoulias

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A critical proposal on the Acropolis Museum in Athens competitions, completed in 1991 by Greek architect and professor Christos Papoulias (pdf link).

The architect suggests a museum entirely below the ground surface, build in a now invisible 17m high gap between two walls of the rocks’ phases, the Mycenaean and the Classical when the Acropolis’ rock was significantly expanded to it’s current retaining wall.

 

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Uncovered by early 20th century excavations between the two walls, this gap today is visible only through a series of shafts left by the archaeologists (scroll for photos). These shafts and the now buried gap between the two retaining walls of the acropolis became the site for Christos Papoulias’ Erichthonean Museum of Acropolis proposal.

 

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The museum would inhabit the south and south east part of the Acropolis plateau and could be visible only through it’s entrance. One of the existing caves would offer an exit down to the south side of the acropolis hill, leading the visitor to the fascinating but mostly overlooked theater of Dionysus and other important archaeological sites like the Odeion of Perikles, the choregic monuments, the Asklepieion, the stoa of Eumenes and the Odeion of Herodes Atticus.

 

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The walls of Erichthonean museum would be the originally visible base 17m high base of the Parthenon and the floor a series of carefully placed platforms, would mimic the roughly poured concrete that the archaeologists have long used to make the slippery rock accesible to visitors.

 

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christos papoulias proposal on acropolis museum interiors

christos papoulias proposal on acropolis museum interior

 

The original drawings from The Erichthonean Museum belong now to the collection of the Pompidou Center in Paris.

Christos Papoulias on his project: I called this project the Erichthonean Museum of Acropolis as a way of separating myself from what I considered mistaken museological ideas in the official competition program from the new museum. I worked with a new museological idea which took into consideration the city, the archaeological site and the topological characteristics.

photos of the shafts from the early 20th century excavations and the 17m high base of the Parthenon.

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