Landscaping of the Archaeological Site around the Acropolis and Filopappou Hill

Athens, 1954-57

Dimitris Pikionis (1887-1968)

The landscaping of the open space on the Acropolis and Filopappou Hill is the best known work by Dimitris Pikionis and the most important landscape architecture project in modern Athens. It includes the landscaping of a network of access roads, paths and sidewalks leading to the Acropolis monuments, to the Herod Atticus Theatre and to Filopappou Hill, as well as the integration of the church of St. Dimitrios Loumbardiaris and a refreshment centre into the area.
With unique sensitivity but also with a sense of the cultural significance of the site, Pikionis wanted to express the historic and cultural continuity of Hellenism. In this project he utilised forms and materials from the ancient Hellenic, Byzantine and vernacular traditions and was constructively influenced by the Japanese landscape architecture tradition.
The roads and buildings were planned harmoniously, aiming to create optical lines to the monuments on the Acropolis. The treatment of the elaborate stone-paved walkways and seating areas and the use of plants from the Attica landscape were the product of Pikionis’s thorough search.
The result of this search is esteemed in particular by experts as a harmonious combination of architecture, natural landscape and historical memory expressing the universality of the Greek spirit.