Construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to begin in Athens
28 September 2012

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced today that it has selected the Impregilo-TERNA joint venture to construct the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens. Today’s announcement is a landmark in the development of the project, as the SNFCC has now entered its final stage, and construction is expected to begin in October 2012.

The Impregilo-TERNA venture was selected through an extensive process of international standards, whereby leading Greek and international construction companies were invited to submit their bids. The tender procedure to select the contractor lasted a total of 10 months, and involved eight companies. During the final stage of the process, four comprehensive bids were submitted and evaluated. 

The selection of the joint venture of the Italian company Impregilo and the Greek company TERNA was based on exacting criteria. The essential prerequisites for the commission were the quality and safety of the project’s construction, based on the final architectural plans, and strict adherence to its budget and schedule, as well as the contractor’s experience, know-how and financial viability. The decision to assign the project to a joint venture that includes a Greek company expresses the Foundation’s foremost intention, that the construction of the SNFCC brings significant and immediate economic benefits to the country; a commitment that takes on added significance under the current socioeconomic conditions. In accordance with the joint venture’s terms of agreement, Impregilo controls 51% and TERNA 49%. 

The Impregilo Group was founded in the early 1990s, but is, in fact, the evolutionary product of four major companies – Girola, Lodigiani, Impresit and Cogefar – that have led the way in the global construction industry since the early 20th century. The companies that merged, in 1995, to create Impregilo were involved in the construction of roads, railroads and hydroelectric power stations that were instrumental in the development of Italy and several other countries. TERNA was founded in 1972 and undertakes a wide range of public and private projects, with substantial budgets and complex know-how, such as road and rail networks, ports, buildings, hospitals, museums, industrial facilities, hydroelectric projects, dams, etc. TERNA is the construction company of the GEK TERNA Group. 

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s largest individual gift, a €566,000,000 ($796,000,000) grant, as the Foundation funds, in full, the Center’s construction and equipment. The SNFCC includes new, state-of-the-art premises for the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, as well as the Stavros Niarchos Park, which spans 42 acres. Upon its completion, in 2015, the SNFCC will be donated to the Greek State, which will be exclusively responsible for its management and operation. 

Designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Renzo Piano and his architectural firm, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW), the SNFCC is a project of great national importance with significant reformative potential, especially under the current socioeconomic conditions. The project is a testament and a commitment to the country’s future, at a critical historical juncture. A study of the economic and social impact of the SNFCC, commissioned by the Foundation and carried out by BCG (The Boston Consulting Group), concluded that the benefits of the project will include the following:

 The Center’s construction will open up 1,500 to 2,400 employment positions annually
 €1,000,000,000 of short- and mid-term economic stimulus, including direct construction spending
 The Center’s operation is expected to generate €160,000,000 of economic activity annually, for Athens and Greece
 The creation of the Park will double the green surface in the surrounding municipalities, contributing to the improvement of air quality and the reduction of CO2 emissions
Athens will gain a world-class Cultural Center, as well as a gathering place and an urban destination – with all of the recognition and international attention that comes with it
The ongoing operations and programming of the SNFCC will be a perpetual economic and cultural engine for Greece

The Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, stated, on behalf of its Board of Directors: “As we have done at every stage of the design and development of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, we carefully considered and assessed all possible alternative proposals submitted by the candidate construction companies. We are perfectly satisfied with the process of selecting the joint venture, and look forward to the immediate launch of the project’s construction; a project that we firmly believe is of national importance. It is an engine of short- to mid-term economic stimulus, which is essential, not just under the current circumstances, but always.”