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Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Greece Architecture News - Jun 30, 2016 - 13:55   8595 views

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre (SNFCC), comprising the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, has been completed in Athen's artificial hill by Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Set within a 170,000 sq m landscaped park, the project is located in 4 km south of central Athens. The site was previously a parking lot left from the 2004 Olympic Games, once the site of a racetrack, with the completion of the project, SNFCC restored the site’s lost connections with the city and the sea. 

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

As one of Athens’ earliest seaports on Faliro Bay, Kallithea has always had a strong relationship with the water. At present, however, despite its proximity, there is no view of the sea from the site. To restore this, an artificial hill is being created at the south -seaward- end of the site. The sloping park culminates in the cultural centre building, giving it spectacular views towards the sea.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Michel Denance, courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Both opera and library are combined in one building, with a public space, known as the Agora, providing access and connections between the two main facilities. The opera wing is composed of two auditoria, one includes 450 seats, and dedicated to traditional operas and ballets, the other features 1400 seats for more experimental performances. 

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Michel Denance, courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The library is intended not only as a place for learning and preserving culture, but also as a public resource, a space where culture is truly accessible to share and enjoy.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Michel Denance, courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The entirely glass-walled library reading room sits on top of the building just underneath the canopy roof. A square horizontal transparent box, it will enjoy 360-degree views of Athens and the sea.
The site’s visual and physical connection with water will continue in the park with a new canal that will run along a north–south, main pedestrian axis, the Esplanade. 

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Michel Denance, courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The canopy roof provides essential shade and topped with 10.000 sq m of photovoltaic cells, generating 1.5 megawatt of power for the library and opera house. This field of cells allow the building to be self-sufficient in energy terms during normal opening hours. Wherever possible, natural ventilation will be used.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Michel Denance, courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

The visual connection with the water continues to the park, where it focuses on a channel to the side of the Esplanade, the main pedestrian axis of the site, in the north-south direction. The complex is aiming for a LEED platinum rating.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Michel Denance, courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

The Canal. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

The glass facade. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

The Traditional Opera and Ballet includes a 450-seat venue. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Vasilis Chouliaras

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Light terrace under the canopy presents cityscene. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Light terrace under the canopy presents cityscene. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image © Nikos Markou, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Orchestra’s rehearsal room. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Orchestra’s rehearsal room. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

The Book Castle. The lobby of the NLG. Image © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, courtesy of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Image courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Renzo Piano completed Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre in Athens’ artificial hill

Renzo Piano's initial sketch. Image courtesy of Renzo Piano Building Workshop

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