New cultural complex at Faliro gearing up for four days of events

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26 June, 2015




The intense fragrances of lemon thyme, lavender and rosemary transport you to the countryside, far away from the busy Kallithea construction site. As the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center’s park begins to take its final shape, it is also preparing to open its gates to the public for the first time with four days of events coming up on June 21 through 24. At the same time, the building complex into which the National Library and Greek National Opera will be moving is also entering the final development phase.


About 1,100 members of staff, with the assistance of six cranes (the tallest being 68 meters), are currently employed at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in the southern Athens suburb. The completion of the capital’s new landmark is now expected in April 2016, while the complex’s handover to the public is expected 10 to 12 months later, in the first quarter of 2017.

“There has been a slight delay with respect to the initial timetable, which is due to the energy shelter, a rather complicated part of the construction project,” SNFCC chief operating officer Elly Andriopoulou said at a press event on Monday.

The 100x100-meter photovoltaic canopy is expected to be completed in August. “So far, 633 of the 717 pieces are in place. Following completion it will host one hectare of photovoltaic panels which will contribute to the facility’s power needs,” noted Andriopoulou.

Meanwhile, here’s a look at where the new center stands in terms of construction.

* Construction of the new National Library’s “Tower of Books” has been completed, while all the glass facades are in place.

* At the National Opera, construction of the dome above the amphitheater has also been completed, while stage mechanisms and wooden panels are being fitted.

* Construction of the water canal alongside the building complex is moving along, with the 400x30-meter canal expected to be ready in three to four months. The canal will be filled with seawater, while trees will be planted alongside it in two different separate areas.

According to Andriopoulou and Helli Pangalou, a landscape architect in charge of the large team which undertook the park’s design and development, some 600 trees and 62,000 bushes have been planted on the premises so far. Meanwhile, planting continues on the “green” terraces above the National Library and the car park building. About 1,400 trees and 280,000 bushes are expected to be planted throughout the park and on the esplanade, all of them reflecting the riches of Greek nature, most notably plants and trees found on the hills of Attica.

The park is scheduled to open to the public from June 21 to 24 for a four-day event titled “Lighting up the Night at the Stavros Niarchos Park.”

According to SNFCC programing and production manager Mily Paschali, the events will combine music, photography, architecture, environmental issues, sports, creative workshops, all-night screenings and art. A complete list of events is available online at Admission is free.


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