The Atheneum is a Richard Meier-designed building located near the banks of the Wabash River on the edge of New Harmony, is the starting point for the historic city tour, and is intended to serve as a center for visitor orientation and community cultural events. Its architecture is conceived as an architectural walk and historical journey in one of the most significant utopian communities in America.
Visitors arriving by boat find themselves on a path leading to the building. A full-height space marks the entry point. Once inside, the visitor is directed through the entrance box towards the internal circulation ramp illuminated from above. Upon reaching the exhibition space on the third level, the visitor can retrace the ramp and through the staggered internal windows, which direct the gaze, will see glimpses of the city and the landscape. On the highest roof terrace, with an exceptional panoramic view, the visitor is confronted with the city. Visitors descend via a second ramp that takes them out of the building and in the direction of New Harmony itself.
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