Coming Home…

There is something special about visiting the Acropolis.

As you walk up the hill and through the Propylea onto the plateau you can see how the architects have wrestled with the same problems we lesser 21st. century architects wrestle with. Such as, how to create beauty, meaning and sense of place or orchestrate and define a narrative, how to deal with the formalities of composition, space and form and finally how to work with materials and the available technology to create something that functions and defines.

Standing under the corner of the Erectheion just gazing up at how the architects has shaped and revised the Ionic volutes to enable the building to turn against a clear blue sky while also creating a subtle relationship between viewer and place is a wonder.  Its comforting to now that you would perhaps tackle the problem in the same way given the structure and order set out by the syntax of the architecture. Most kids these days don’t know even know to draw a perspective. Goodness knows how they will get to grips with this sort of deep architectural subtlety and power.

Judging by the number of people visiting the site its tempting to think that everyone there was coming home –  just a little bit. Maybe, in between ticking off the Acropolis as a ‘must see’ on the tourist trail there is a little recognition of the gap between the order, certainty and power of the classical world and where we find ourselves at present…

Meanwhile, down the hill Bernard Tschumi’s new Acropolis Museum is surprisingly underwhelming. I suspect it might be sometime before the Elgin marbles are returned to Athens…

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