18 JULY 2008 / Informative visit of members of the SNF Board of Directors together with Renzo Piano to the Prime Minister of Greece regarding the progress of the SNFCC

On Friday, July 18th the Prime Minister of Greece, Costas Karamanlis met with members of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Board of Directors: Andreas Dracopoulos, Philip Niarchos, Spyros Niarchos and the Project’s architect Renzo Piano who, along with his partner- Giorgio Bianchi (Renzo Piano Βuilding Workshop, www.rpbw.com) has undertaken the design of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), at the Faliron Delta area.

During their visit, the Prime Minister was informed of the Project’s progress and its preliminary study www.SNFoundation.org/SNFCC, while they all discussed the ideas of the famous architect, regarding the Center’s development. 

 

 As it was highlighted, the Park will be of major importance to the residents and it will also serve as a flagship for the visitors, covering an area of more than 150,000 sq. meters. As regards to the premises of the National Library of Greece and of the Greek National Opera, they will also function as landmarks, depicting the Foundation’s social and environmental awareness/sensitization. Renzo Piano’s vision for the Project, is also the creation of green and environmentally friendly facilities (a typical characteristic of his works). The architect aims to “take advantage” of our country’s abundant natural light, to cover a great extend of interior spaces; moreover, according to the initial design attached, the water presence will also be dominant at the Center, as well as the connection to the waterfront and the sea.  

 

Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, member of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Board of Directors, stated the following: “…we are optimistic on our Project - the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) and its development, which will include the Educational and Cultural Park (almost equal in size to the National Gardens in downtown Athens) and the new premises of the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera; we are also excited that the projects of the world renowned architect that we have selected, Renzo Piano, combine the applied green philosophy and functionality, along with high aesthetics.  

 

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) aims to become an important “destination” in our country, a new dynamic educational venue, a site of cultural evolution offering multiple activities, with the advancement of new technologies. The new premises for the National Library and the National Opera of Greece, will further advance education and the love for the arts, not only in the hearts of its local residents but for the visitors, as well. The Educational and Cultural Park, will become a lively green area – accessible to the general public (and to people with special needs). Its development will further enhance the vital “people and nature” relationship in a crowded city. Apart from the mere fact that it will be a “breath of fresh air”, it will also function as a venue for various educational and cultural activities and programs, working in parallel to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera.

 

 Today, we informed the Prime Minister of Greece, Costas Karamanlis -whom we would like to thank for his ongoing personal interest and for the state’s responsiveness and cooperation- on the Project and the preliminary study’s progress.  We have already started all necessary procedures and talks with the applicable organizations, towards the execution of the contractual agreement of our grant, including the terms for construction and equipment. 

 

Renzo Piano’s detailed plans are expected to be presented before the end of the year”.