Page N2.1 . 04 April 2001                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
  • Herzog and de Meuron Pritzker Prize
  • Postcard from Athens Underground
  • NAHB 2001 Atlanta Showcase

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    Postcard from Athens Underground

    ArchWeek Photo

    Objects displayed in the Daphne Metro Station were found during its excavation. Photography by Carol LeKashman.

    ArchWeek Photo

    Train platform with Elgin marble replicas at Akropoli Station.

    ArchWeek Photo

    Section found by archaeologists at Metro Station.

    ArchWeek Photo

    Train at Akropoli Station.


    Click on thumbnail images to view full-size pictures.

    Dear ArchitectureWeek,

    Among the recent urban planning efforts in Athens is one of the most ambitious modern engineering/ archaeological projects ever undertaken. The Athens Metro took an extra two years and an additional $70 million to get the excavation right, with proper attention to the antiquities found lying beneath the city.

    Five of the metro stops fall within the boundaries of the classical city, with one of them at the very foot of the Acropolis. As a result, some of the stations are museums of what was found in the course of their construction.

    The Athens subway compares favorably in every way with even the newest of American systems. Spaces are clad in the same white marble as many of the ancient antiquities nearby and have no advertisements making visual pollution.

    The subway system is so successful that it has already overfilled the parking garages planned for its outermost stations. Every day, 450,000 people use the system, with a discernible effect on the number of people using cars and therefore a real lessening of the pollution.

    On the road in Athens,

    Carol LeKashman

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