25 MAY 2011 / Construction work begins for the Municipal Sports and Leisure Park, funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Construction is set to begin for the Municipal Sports and Leisure Park in the Municipality of Kallithea, a year after the Board of Directors of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced the grant for the project.

The Foundation’s grant, totaling €5,5 million Euros, will fund the creation of a green space of 28,000 square meters, and includes designing, developing and constructing an open-air swimming pool, a football field, a children’s playground, a cafeteria and an outdoor car park with a capacity of almost seventy parking spaces. Part of the grant also supports the development and landscaping of the surrounding outdoor area, including planting, installing irrigation and lighting networks, and designing a system of roads and pathways to regulate internal traffic.

The Municipal Sports and Leisure Park will be created on a site owned by the Greek State, but will be used in perpetuity by the Municipality of Kallithea, in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of the Environment, Urban Planning and Public Works and the Municipality of Kallithea on January 12th, 2007. After the completion of the Municipal Sports and Leisure Park, the Municipality of Kallithea will be exclusively responsible for its management, for the use and benefit of all visitors.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation will develop the Municipal Park according to the highest qualitative, technological and environmental specifications, so that it becomes a dynamic new sports and leisure venue. The use of the Municipal Park will be open and free for all, and the design of the space will make it accessible to people with disabilities.

Renzo Piano, the renowned Italian architect, who is also designing the neighboring Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, has undertaken the design of the Municipal Sports and Leisure Park and of all related supporting facilities. Piano’s involvement guarantees the regeneration of the area based on a specific and integrated architectural, environmental and planning approach, and also the development of the projects following similar aesthetic parameters. As a result, Kallithea, the city of Athens and the whole of Greece will gain a new venue of high aesthetic quality.

The total area being regenerated in Kallithea by means of the Foundation’s grants, including the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, exceeds 240,000 square meters, 85% of which will be converted into a park, providing the city and the country with another much needed green area.