The the entrance also represents a transition from

Parthenon in Athens and the Pantheon in Rome are perfect examples in
architectural history that have used the portico and have contributed to the
topic of the entrance and transitions in architecture. The Parthenon attaches a
great deal of importance to its entrance-portico as it is a clear example to
explain the spatial relationships between the outside and inside space (Boettger,
2014). The Parthenon’s entrance moves away from its conventional idea of just moving
from one space to another, but serves as “… an articulation between spaces,
i.e. between outside and inside, between one space and another, between reality
and another (Venturi, 1977, p.82)”, – the entrance also represents a transition
from the material world to the world of the Gods. The Parthenon is located on
the Acropolis, on a mountain, in the city of Athens along with the other
buildings: The Propylaea, The Temple of Athena and the Erechtheion. The overall
design of the Acropolis and positioning of the different buildings as well as
the Parthenon is significant in order to understand the circulation and
transitions through the site. The path, starting at the southern part of the
site near the Temple of Athena, allows a step-by-step journey towards the
Parthenon, with each transition and entry putting the individual in a new atmosphere
and condition, allowing for an exceptional architectural experience (Boettger, 2014).
Consequently, prior to actually passing into the Parthenon’s entrance, the
individual has to approach this entrance along this directed path (Ching, 1979).
The approach to the Parthenon is therefore just as important as its literal
entrance when trying to understand these transitions. For example, the
Propylaea, which is located just after passing the Temple of Athena, acts as an
entrance or transition to a completely new condition. Its portico allows a
connection between the inside and outside space as the columns on the inside
act as a viewing platform as well as a preparation to what lies ahead. What is
interesting is that these columns are able to frame the Parthenon laterally which
allows the viewer to appreciate its spatial volume and significance (Boettger, 2014).
The ramp in the flight of steps that leads up to the Propylaea also cleverly controls
the circulation of the approaching individual which as a result provides a
unique path for experiencing the space (Boettger, 2014). As the journey to the
Parthenon continues, a spiral path prolongs the sequence of the approach as
well as intensifies anticipation and stresses the importance of the final entry
(Boettger, 2014) as the path directs the individual right around its perimeter.
The actual entrance to the Parthenon is therefore completely hidden until its
point of arrival (Ching, 1979). Subsequently, this combination of walls, paths
and separate temples on the individual’s approach to the Parthenon become
space-delimiting elements and act as limits which as a result, form the
particular route towards the Parthenon. It is therefore evident that the
spatial positioning of the Acropolis is no arbitrary entity, but rather that
these different transitions and entrances have been placed in a way for the
individual to move through and experience the space in a particular way (Boettger,
2014). It can therefore be argued that entrances have been used to control the
individual’s circulation throughout the site.


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