Acropolis: Parasite to a Natural Host
by Joel Pominville
|Acropolis, Athens, Greece|
To begin, one must look at the plan of the Acropolis on the site in which it is placed. More specifically, I would like to examine the placement of the Parthenon (highlighted in red) on the site. As you can see in the site plan image, the Parthenon is in a partially centralized location. But more important to notice is its disregard for any type of regulated alignment. It is not aligned against the axis of cardinal directions, nor is it in particular alignment with any other structures of the complex. The other buildings suffer the same lack of alignment. Although the Acropolis, once the complex of a citadel, is strategically placed at the top of a hillside above Athens, it lacks a sense of direction. Le Corbusier may have described the Acropolis best as a parasite. He commented that the Acropolis is simply an architectural landscape without plan or direction. You can begin to observe this in more depth as you analyze the acropolis in different location situations.
|Acropolis in woodlands near Athens, Greece|
However, it even still disregards alignment to the cardinal directions, which are elements needed to be considered in architecture by the designer.
|Acropolis Placed in Manhattan|
The next place to analyze the Acropolis in is a city center. A good example of this is Manhattan. As you can see, the Acropolis does not follow any kind of regulated patter as is typical in cities, even in complexes as old as the Roman forums. So, not only does the Acropolis not have a correlation to the cardinal directions, but it also does not have any form of modulation.
|Acropolis Placed on Budapest Citadel|