An “Open, Accessible, Transparent” Design for the SNF Agora Institute
19 September 2019

“A building that houses an institute dedicated to democracy should be open, accessible, transparent – the work is for everyone,” said Renzo Piano of designs for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute’s new home at Johns Hopkins University.

Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the architecture firm behind the building, has shared its plans for the new building. SNF Agora is set to break ground in fall of 2020, with completion of the building expected to follow in 2022.

Of the announcement, SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos said that Renzo, both in his capacity as the architect and as a member of the SNF Agora Board of Overseers, “has thought deeply to create a building that fits Hopkins at large, the wider community, and this open, outward-facing institution. We can’t wait to see it take shape.”

Drawing inspiration from the Agora of ancient Athens, which was a hub of conversation and debate and the center of the city-state’s democratic governance, SNF committed $150 million to a joint effort with Johns Hopkins University to create the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) Agora Institute in 2018. The SNF Agora Institute brings together experts from fields such as political science psychology, and philosophy, to foster open and inclusive discourse.