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Welcome to this discussion of the architectural design process in ancient Greece.



A statement of purpose.

The Propylaea is the first (known) monumental Greek building of the classical period that is neither a right-rectangular prism nor a cylinder. It is not a temple but a complex gate building consisting of three distinct parts and two unfinished parts that would have made the total five. As a result, this structure, designed by the architect Mnesicles, provides a unique example of a Greek building. It has a known architect, a non-standard plan, a variety of unusual features, an extremely important location, and an equally important function or set of functions -- all while operating with the standard vocabulary of its time and place: post-and-lintel construction with Doric and Ionic columns and capitals; both prostyle and in-antis colonnades; tiled, hipped roofs; and so on. All these things make this a building that should be able to tell us a great deal about how ancient buildings were designed. In fact, the CSA Propylaea Project existed to a great extent to learn, record, and disseminate enough information about the building to enable scholars to look deeply into this question of architectural planning in antiquity.

This group of web pages and its companion blog (no longer functioning) are intended to provide a venue for further exploration of questions and relevant information concerning the planning work of the ancient Greek architect.


You will note that there are currently three pages (each of which may ultimately have subsidiary pages); "General Planning Issues," "Propylaea Matters," and "Discussion." The "General Planning Issues" page is intended to be the locus for discussions of information on planning based upon sources other than the Propylaea. The page headed "Propylaea Matters" will contain discussions of issues related to specific facts from the Propylaea. The "Discussion" page will contain considerations of the architects' actual work, with references to information and discussion in the other pages. It may not yet have any content.

To comment -- your comment will be added to the appropriate page -- please send email to Harrison Eiteljorg, II, user name: nicke at the domain name csanet.org.

To the General Planning Issues page.

To the Propylaea Matters page.

To the Discussion page.

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