ARS 02 - 07 - 2010

The Acropolis Museum located in Athens, Greece displays elements of utilizing daylight, proper glazing, casting views and contours to the surrounding urban environment around it. The building consists of four levels, all geared towards different purposes. The first three levels are designed to run parallel to the surrounding streets of the urban environment. This allows the building to utilize as much space as possible. The fourth level, however, is skewed and aligns perfectly with the Parthenon that sits on the Acropolis directly next to the building at a higher ground elevation. By allowing the surrounding context to determine the shape of the building, it allows it to blend into the setting and take form that enhances the city. The composition of the building creates an overall visual that allows you to experience and see the site's past, its present and imagine its future. The museum is a modern building within an older district causing a contrast and an importance to still blend in even though it will obviously stand out. The use of glass plays an important role in the building's design to achieve this goal. Due to the building being built directly over existing ruins, the entire structure is built up in the air by large pylons. Glass is used on the floor plane allowing you to see down below the building and view the ruins as museum artifacts themselves. This allows the building and site to become one. Floor to ceiling glass walls cast views out to the surrounding city, creating magnificent views of the Acropolis and allowing a connection to become extremely apparent. With large glass walls, it becomes important to use proper glazing in order to refrain from the building getting too hot from the direct sunlight. To filter the direct solar radiation, a double pane layer of glass is placed two foot from the exterior glass wall on the upper portion around seven feet off the ground. This creates an extra layer of filtration, yet still allows for the extravagant views of the surrounding context as well. The interior of the building is mostly of concrete and solid, light colors. This allows for the reflection of light and creates soft visual tones throughout. The rows of columns divide spaces and allows for areas to display the artifacts. The separation of spaces becomes apparent as the first two levels are used to display objects, the third level is used as a restaurant/cafe and book store which contains an outdoor sitting space that also focuses on the Acropolis, and the fourth level is used as a gallery for special artifacts. This top level is also the one that relates specifically to the Parthenon, showing a hierarchy for space and reflecting the most important influence of the building's design. The overall design of the building and its site is one of relationships. It works with the community to relate to the specific features that are highlighted, allows for visuals of the spaces around it and also gives views to the previous history of the site. By analyzing the architectural components of this building but becomes quite apparent of the care and detail that has gone into the monumental design that adds a modern flair to the historical, ancient city.

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