Interior Design

Panticapaeum. Hidden in the Depth. The project of musealisation of the territory of the ancient settlement of Panticapaeum

Tatiana Bardem
Politecnico di Milano, Polytechnic University of Milan, School of Design
Russian Federation

Project idea

In the depth of the soil under the layers of the history the slopes of Mithridates Mount in Kerch keep the traces of the history of Panticapaeum, the ancient Greek settlement. The idea of the project is based on the aim to reveal what is hidden, to connect Past and Present, to evoke the archeological activity on the site together with the developing of the historical place in the cultural and social context. The archaeological excavation of the hidden ruins is considered as a mediator of the musealization when the archaeological excavation obtains the qualities of an architectural space. The space organization refers to the ancient mounds located around Panticapaeum. Such architectural elements as Chamber and Dromos are reflected in the project and present as excavations and trenches leading in the depth to the hidden ruins. The ruins become a core of the underground rooms (chambers) while the trenches (dromos) represent the long deepening way to the perception of the lost history.

Open and Hidden, aboveground and underground, dark and light, narrow and spacious. Those are the main characteristics of spaces for the deliberate perception of the historical traces, the time and the space.

Project description

In order to transmit the sense of the depth of the soil and the heaviness of time, such aspects of the space as the roughness of materials, the darkness of the atmosphere and the coldness of the soil were reflected in the interior of the underground expositional spaces.

The interior is based on Light concept of experiencing the sequence of light and darkness. The open trenches lead to the open excavations and underground rooms. On the way of the trench the walls are used for Lapidarium. The reversed perspective of the trenches refers to the dromos of ancient mounds. Passing the trench, the way seems to be shorter than it is in reality due to the reversed perspective. This represents the long complex way of obtaining the knowledge and carrying out the research to get enlightened. From the bright well lighted trench the visitors arrive to the dark underground rooms. The light penetrates through the soil massif carving the Voids in the darkness of the space. The light catches the ruins from the darkness leading the visitor and representing the small “knowledge” of just some parts of the whole dark unknown of the history. The geometry of the ruins is followed by the lowered pits going on the human eye level and creating the cores of light in the Underground. The visitor has an opportunity to follow the path of the exhibition orienting themselves by the Pillars of light illuminating ruins and finds which are placed in niches. The niches are placed in the way to be highlighted during a day in different ways as the sunlight direction changes. The voids and openings also establish the interaction between outside and inside, giving the visitors the perception of the depth of the ruins.

While being in the Depth, the light becomes a mean of knowing the findings, the way from the darkness of the unknown to the light of the knowledge.

Technical information

The position of the rooms is assumed according to the scope of the archive documents and the drawings given to the author by the group of the archaeologists carrying out the scientific activities on the site. However, the positioning of the rooms as well as the depth of them should be clarified taking into account the relief of the territory and geological condition of it after the on-site precise investigation.

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