Renowned architect and SNFCC designer, Renzo Piano, selected the designers of the Visitors Center, architecture students, Spiros Giotakis and Agis-Panagiotis Mourelatos, the winners of a nationwide architectural student competition, organized and funded by the SNF. The main purpose of the Visitors Center, defining its philosophy and programs, is to provide the general public with the opportunity to get to know the SNFCC, to understand its architectural, construction-related and social dimensions, and to form strong ties with a project that aims to regenerate and radically change the citizens’ relationship with education, culture, the environment and urban public spaces. The Visitors Center is located on the Esplanade and it is a light temporary structure, scheduled to operate until the completion of the SNFCC in 2016. Following the project’s completion, the public will have an opportunity to find out information about the SNFCC through its permanent new Visitors Center, which will operate in the Stavros Niarchos Park.
The public response to the Visitors Center has been positive, and has created hopes and expectations for the future and the role of the SNFCC. In particular, from October 2013 to April 2014, there were over 14,000 visits to the Visitors Center, during which visitors learned, though a permanent exhibition about the new, state-of-the-art premises for the Greek National Opera and the National Library of Greece, as well as the environmental sensitivities that are inherent in the design, the construction and the operation of the Stavros Niarchos Park. The Visitors Center’s operation included a total of 47 organized visits to the SNFCC construction site, attended by approximately 1,300 people. The construction site visitors had the opportunity to experience closely one of the most important and complex construction projects ever undertaken in Greece. The Visitors Center also focuses upon familiarizing the younger generations with the project. A total of 3,480 students from 141 school classes are expected to have visited the VC by the end of May 2014.
The Visitors Center also launched its new series of free cultural and educational programs, called “Scope of Activities – Meeting Points”. The programs include monthly events on different themes, and aim to shape SNFCC’s future identity by establishing a creative dialogue between the public and the project.
The events target children and their families, adolescents, young high school and university students, individuals with limited accessibility, residents of the surrounding areas, and visitors from across the city and the country.
The program includes educational material for children and families who visit the venue, multisensory workshops for visually impaired individuals, technical workshops for students and professionals of technical fields, seminars on library science and information systems, seminars for educators and education students, competitions, photography exhibitions, etc.
As part of the public programs offered by the Visitors Center the Greek National Opera presents every first and last Saturday of each month on site a small “pocket” concert with piano and one or two voices. Having the new home of the Greek National Opera as their backdrop, solo vocalists and musicians connect lyric opera to the new topography created at the SNFCC.
The program “Journey to the SNFCC” has now expanded to include 13 municipalities. The program disseminates SNFCC’s message, advocating open access to the Arts, Education and Environmental Culture for all citizens. “Journey to the SNFCC” offers to residents of the participating Municipalities the opportunity to travel to the Visitors Center, and enjoy a guided tour of the site, as well as attend VC events.
In addition, SNFCC associates offer guided tours of the construction site every Sunday at 11:00. The tours provide visitors with the opportunity to observe the construction works and progress closely, and to learn about the architectural and technical details of this complex project. Registration for the guided tours is offered through the SNFCC website.
The current series of events will continue until December 2014. The VC’s new program for the winter and spring of 2015 will be announced in the fall of 2014. Entry to the Visitors Center and attendance of all the events is free of charge.
The full schedule of events will be updated and published on the SNFCC website, through the following link (http://www.snfcc.org/visitors-center/events/), as well as the SNFCC’s official Facebook page (https://el-gr.facebook.com/SNFCC).
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00-20:00 (Free Admission) Saturday - Sunday: 8:00-20:00 (Free Admission)
The Visitors Center is closed on Mondays.
Additional Information on the Program
Events and workshops are designed by the Visitors Center team, in conjunction with established organizations and professionals.
Eirini Vokotopoulou is responsible for the structure and the planning of the series at the Visitors Center, while Hara Marantidou oversees the design and content of all the informational and educational material.