Riviera Line (22): Stavros Niarchos Foundation
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (Greek: Κέντρο Πολιτισμού Ίδρυμα Σταύρος Νιάρχος) is a complex in the bay of Faliro in Athens which includes new facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO), as well as the 210,000 m² Stavros Niarchos Park.
The Center was designed by architect Renzo Piano and is being built by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The €566 million project was completed in 2016, and was donated to the Greek state in 2017.
Renzo Piano envisaged the SNFCC rising out of the ground like a dislodged piece of the earth’s crust. As a result, an artificial hill is constructed and the roof of both the library and the opera house is emerging from it maintaining the slope. The library is lower and the ‘hill’ concludes with the opera house. The roof of the library will be covered with ground material. On top of the opera house there will be a canopy supported on thin steel columns. According to Piano, “the canopy represents a cloud hovering over the highest point of the hill”.