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Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre

View of the new Opera House and the new National Library from the northeast entrance of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    2008 Beginning of construction.

    2015 Completion.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The work of the famous architect Renzo Piano suggests a wave of civilization that is preparing to burst from the Saronic Gulf towards Athens. It is like a giant hand that raises the upper layer of the surface of Attic land, under which the miracles of culture born from it are revealed. The Opera House and the National Library symbolize the spiritual light that emerges like a beacon from the peak of the building, mimicking the Parthenon. The columns do not simply touch the horizontal roof, but a slight bumper is created, just as the ancient columns rest with their capitals, creating an “event” in which two natural forces converge. The bioclimatic shelter with the 5,560 photovoltaic panels is called the canopy. It is a botanical term and refers to the upper part of tropical forests that produces energy by using the sun’s rays to nourish the lower layers of the forest. Thus, this canopy also supplies energy to the building (2GWh/ year). It has dimensions of 100 x 100 m, i.e. as much as one and a half football (or soccer) pitch. It also has a three-dimensional structure and the shape of an airplane blade, to withstand strong winds and limit resistance. At the upper level one can enjoy the view of the sea on the one side and the city and the Acropolis on the other.

What I can't see

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre is located 4.5 km south of the centre of Athens. The name of the building comes from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which donated 620 million euros for its construction. The National Library has a surface area of ​​24,000 m², uses state-of-the-art technology, and has the “Book Castle” as its centrepiece. The lending department has a welcoming atmosphere, thanks to an abundance of natural light; there are separate spaces for adults, teenagers, and children, and events and seminars are often held. The library’s collection includes 4,500 handwritten codes from the 9th to the 19th century, as well as important historical documents and archives. Manuscripts have been digitized and kept in proper climate-controlled conditions. Some of them will be exposed in turn. The 28,000 m² Opera House consists of the Central Stage (1,400 seats), the Alternative Stage (450 seats), the Children’s Stage and the auxiliary areas. High technology equipment allows for the rapid change of multiple scenes and the hosting of complex productions. The luxury of the Central Stage is impressive, and because the Alternative Stage does not have permanent seats, it provides a flexible space for experimental productions.



Anastasakis Μ., (2017), Κέντρο Πολιτισμού Ίδρυμα Σταύρος Νιάρχος, Μια νέα εποχή για την Αθήνα, [Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, A new era for Athens] in, Last visit 4/3/2018


SNFCC exhibition signs


Field observation by scientific editors


Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, (2018), Η Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη της Ελλάδος, [The National Library of Greece] in

Last visit 4/3/2018


Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, (2018), Η Εθνική Λυρική Σκηνή, [National Opera], in

Last visit 4/3/2018


Open House Athens, (2017), SNFCC, OHA