Lycabettus Outdoor Theatre

Lycabettus Hill, Athens, 1964-65

Takis Ch. Zenetos (1926-1977)

This 3000-seat open-air theatre was built on the site of an old quarry on top of Lycabettus hill, on the initiative of the great tragedian Anna Synodinou, to provide facilities for her company Hellenic Stage to give performances of ancient plays. This project by the talented visionary Takis Zenetos, who harmonised architecture with technology and the Thespian art in an exemplary fashion, constitutes a milestone in Greek modernism. In addition, despite the technological middle road of the architectural solution and the fact that Anna Synodinou’s Hellenic Stage was ejected from the theatre by the junta of the colonels, the open-air theatre on Lycabettus has been justified culturally, since it has evolved into one of the most highly frequented cultural venues in Athens, one that favours experimentation and innovation.
This is a prefabricated metal grid in the form of an inverted parabolic cone, which was systematically designed so that all seats would have an unhindered view and good acoustics.
The theatre’s facilities and auxiliary spaces are under the stage, at a level lower than the orchestra. Today Zenetos’s work has been aesthetically degraded by its improper refurbishment.