In 2006, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced its plans to fund the development of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), a project that includes the construction and complete outfitting of new facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO), as well as the creation of the 210,000 m² Stavros Niarchos Park.
In February 2008, following a closed international design competition, the Foundation’s Board of Directors unanimously selected the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. In selecting renowned architect Renzo Piano, the Foundation chose an architect at the forefront of the architectural profession, who possesses vision, intellectual curiosity and a historical and geographical understanding of the project’s location and significance.
The project site is located 4.5 km south of the center of Athens, on the edge of Faliro Bay, and the SNFCC is designed as a multifunctional arts, education and entertainment complex. The project’s total budget of $867mil (€620mil) includes two grants of $6mil (€5mil) each to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera respectively, aiming to support the organizations’ transition to their new facilities. The new building for the National Library of Greece (NLG) will modernize an institution founded in 1832, allowing it to strengthen its research role. The nearly 24,000 m2 (235,000 sq. ft.) state-of-the-art building combines traditional with technological innovation, conservation with information and communication.
In its new home, the Greek National Opera (GNO) will become an exciting destination for music lovers and architecture cognoscenti alike. The building will be a multi-use venue capable of hosting a variety of performances and events.The new 28,000 m2 (301,000 sq. ft.) auditorium is an architectural jewel, designed to enhance the opera experience for patrons and artists alike. Linked by an ecological concept, physical topography and functionality to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, the Stavros Niarchos Park is a vital green space, a breath of life for Athens and an important addition to a city with the lowest per capita green space in Europe. A respite from urban concrete, the Park provides opportunities for learning, recreation, rest, and new experiences.
Video by: Gek Terna