If you’ve ever been to the Acropolis in Athens and marveled over the perfectly proportioned design of the Parthenon, you probably also shuffled over to the nearby by Acropolis Museum and were… dismayed. It was a shoddy effort at best, with antiquities thousands of years old suffering in dusty corners under weak light. Not any more: Bernard Tschumi, after nearly a decade of wrangling with delays, protesting officials, and an ambivalent public, is set to complete the new Acropolis museum. The building is, more or less, finished; the museum will open June 20.
Given the landmark status of the site, Tschumi–the one-time dean of the Columbia Architecture School–tread lightly. The building itself is perched above an excavation site, atop 100 pillars. The middle level features the permanent galleries; and the top level culminates in the Parthenon Gallery, which houses the remnants of the Parthenon’s original frieze. The sky-lit space is slightly twisted from the rest of the building, so that frieze on display can exactly line up with it’s original installation site on the Parthenon.