Media representatives were given a detailed insight into the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a huge complex that aims to become the culture hub of modern Greece.
The €596 million project under construction in the bay of Phaliron in Athens includes new facilities for the National Library of Greece and the National Opera.
It was designed by architect Renzo Piano and after its completion it will be donated to the Greek state.
The National Library of Greece (NLG) is a 23,000 m2 building that will house the existing functions of the NLG, serving the needs of researchers (National Research Library), but also an entirely new part of the library, with an extended range of functions, open to the general public (National Public Lending Library).
The Greek National Opera (GNO) has a total surface of 28,00 m2. It host one of the most important performance halls of our century. The proper planning and design of the space, as well as the technical equipment of the stage, make this new building a fully functional space, suitable to host world-class opera and ballet performances.
The €596 million grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for the construction and complete outfitting of the complex, is the largest donation in recent Greek history and one of the largest single donations worldwide, in the field of Arts & Culture.
Plans for a big scale donation by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation started in 1998. Initially the foundation planned to make separate donations to the National Library and the National Opera.
In 2006 it was decided to build one complex for both organizations and after discussions with the Greek state the area of the former horse racing track was chosen.
In 2008 the foundation chose Italian architect Renzo Piano to design the complex and in 2012 construction works started.
Sources: Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Wikipedia