The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a multifunctional and environmentally sustainable education, arts, and recreation complex/destination comprised of the Stavros Niarchos Park, 85% of the 170,000m2(42acre) and new, state-of-the-art facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO)15% .
The design of the SNFCC project has been appointed to an internationally acclaimed architect, Renzo Piano (www.rpbw.com), after a closed international architectural competition, by an unanimous decision of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s Board of Directors (February 2008).The name of the Italian architect has become synonymous with high architecture for the last 40 years and is related to projects of similar scope and visibility in all over the world.
The total SNFCC project will cost approximately €566/$803 million to plan, construct and deliver to the Greek State. In 2009, the Foundation signed a contract with the Greek State, which was ratified by the Greek Parliament agreeing to assume the total cost of building the SNFCC. The grant is one of the largest donations in Greece’s history.
The SNFCC site is located 4.5 km south of central Athens on the edge of Faliro Bay. Following discussions with the Ministries involved and the mayor of Kallithea, consensus emerged that this site was the most appropriate and available piece of land for the construction of a project of such magnitude. The site is owned by the Greek State.
SNFCC’s uniqueness lies in offering all programs and activities under one “roof” and therefore combining all the benefits of an opera, a library and a park. The participation in Arts and culture activities and programmes comes to reality.
SNFCC will serve as a beacon of environmental sustainability in Greece and be the standard against which all other major infrastructure projects are measured. It will be the first public building in Greece to obtain the internationally recognized green building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Its construction will be green-friendly, using recycled materials and implementing an erosion, sedimentation and dust suppression plan.
At least 50 percent of construction waste will be recycled, and at least 5 percent of building materials will be reused.
SNFCC will double the green surface per capita in the surrounding municipalities of Kalithea, Moschato, Nea Smirni and Palaio Faliro.
It will save approximately 2,750 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
It will improve air quality.
The construction and operation of the SNFCC is expected to have positive impacts in the form of increased capital investments, consumption spending, job creation, attraction of complementary business and other enrichments to the local communities.
It will yield a €340 million direct output in Greece, while the overall contribution (direct, indirect and induced effects) of SNFCC construction to the total output of the Greek economy will be approximately €1 billion.
It will furnish a much-needed stimulus to the industrial and construction sectors, where approximately 80% percent of the impact will be concentrated.
1,500 to 2,400 people will be employed each year to support SNFCC construction and all backward-linked economic industries.
Approximately €40 million in fiscal revenues will be produced throughout the construction phase. The combined effects of operations and visitor spending associated with SNFCC activities will generate approximately €160 million of economic activity throughout the local community, Athens, and Greece in the first full year of operations. SNFCC could attract around 1.5 million visitors annually.
* We are grateful to “Stavros Niarchos Foundation” and especially to Ms. Lenia Vlavianou for their valuable help. We also thank Niarchos Family for their donation that will change the cultural reality in Athens.