A replica of the Parthenon, one of the world’s most iconic architectural structures, was installed at Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) on Monday.
Designed as a homage to the Parthenon on Athens’s Acropolis and dubbed “Temple of Boom,” the structure is drawing inspiration from the vibrant colors and rich artistic embellishments that defined the original building.
By displaying the effects of time, the project suggests that perspectives on buildings and identities can evolve and change. Temple of Boom celebrates the constant cultural flux while also seeking to expand our understanding of the Parthenon as an enduring architectural and cultural beacon.
The project, designed by Melbourne-based architects Adam Newman and Kelvin Tsang, is the seventh iteration of the NGV’s Architecture Commission and is set to host cultural, political, and artistic gatherings as well as music events of all kinds.
Replica creator: The Parthenon is a monument to artistic perfection
“If, as an architect, I could be a fly on the wall of one building on the planet, through the history of human civilization and just to see the events that have unfolded, it would absolutely have to be the Parthenon,” Newman was quoted as saying by WAtoday.
“It’s the most loaded building in terms of symbolism, politics and geopolitics,” he reflects, pointing to the remarkable engineering that underpins it.
“There’s general consensus among architects, engineers and archaeologists that we would not have the capacity to build the Parthenon today,” Newman maintained. “It’s just always there as this monument to artistic perfection.”
Of course, all of that made it an intimidating project to take on. Roughly one-third the size of the original, Temple of Boom was never intended to be a replica, as it was always going to be a reinterpretation. Newman and Tsang had two key motivations: to spark conversations and to support local arts.
“We’d always intended it to be a mechanism for the arts community in Melbourne to start to regenerate,” Newman told WAtoday.
One way Temple of Boom will strive for this will be by inviting other artists to shape how the structure looks and evolves over the nine months it will be in place.
The Parthenon of the Acropolis of Athens
The Parthenon is one of the most iconic structures in the history of Western civilization. It stands in splendor on Acropolis Hill in Athens as it has for 2,500 years. Experts believe that the ingenuity of the Parthenon’s construction has allowed it to miraculously survive the ravages of time, nature, and mankind.
The construction of the Parthenon began during the governance of Pericles and took about five years to complete. It was designed by the architects Ictinus and Callicrates with the aid of the great sculptor Phidias. It was built to honor Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who is believed to have saved the city during the Persian Wars, and was completed in 438 although work on the decoration continued until 432.