Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is located in Athens, Greece and includes facilities for the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera, and the Stavros Niarchos Park. The project started construction in 2012 and was completed in 2016.
Plans had begun in 1998. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation was planning to make separate donations to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera and then in 2006, it was decided to build one complex for both.
Renzo Piano had envisioned the building rising out of the ground as if it were a dislodged piece of the Earth’s crust. He designed the artificial ‘hill’ to have the lower end be the roof of the National Library of Greece and the upper end to be the roof of the Greek National Opera. The roof of the library is covered with indigenous Greek plants and on the roof of the opera is a canopy that represents a cloud hovering over the tallest part of the hill.
The SNFCC is a huge public place where everyone can participate in a multitude of cultural, educational, athletic, environmental, and recreational activities and events. The center is all about redefining public spaces and is considered an architectural landmark and sustainability hub.