The New Athens Opera House’s Prelude

GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   World-renowned architect Renzo Piano unveiled his concept design for the new cultural complex in Faliro on January 24 at a special event at Zappeion Hall, which will include a new National Library and Opera House to be built and donated to the Greek state by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis who attended the event hailed the project as a monumental, unique point of reference for the new age. Renzo Piano presented a draft plan using stone, light, sea view, an energy conservation system based on photovoltaic cells and includes landscaping of the surrounding area with locally-grown plants. The €450 million project, which will be constructed on a 16-hectare site – once a horse-racing track – will also feature an ‘agora’ inspired by the meeting place of ancient Greek cities and a park and is due to be completed by 2015. Greek News Agenda: New Opera House’s Prelude

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New Athens Opera House’s Prelude

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The architect Renzo Piano has been chosen to build a cultural park in Greece that will house the country’s new Opera House and National Library. Piano designed the New York Times Building, co-designed the Pompidou centre in Paris and left his mark on Berlin’s Potzdamer Square, the Paul Klee Centre in Bern and Osaka’s international airport. The internationally acclaimed architect arrives in Athens on January 24 to present his project to the public, and will deliver a lecture on the same day as part of the “Megaron Plus” series. Piano aspires to take advantage of the country’s gift of sunlight, combined with the element of water. The complex will be built on a former race-course in the southern suburbs of Athens and will be funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation through an exclusive sponsorship of €300 million.  

Athens’ Facelift: A High-tech Tribute to Arts and Letters

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The outline of his plan for the new opera house and the new national library was recently presented by the Italian architect Renzo Piano to Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. Commissioned by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, the new complex worth €300 million will be located at the Faliron Delta site. Explaining his vision to the premier, Piano was proud to announce that the new opera house will be “a jewel” and emphasized the importance of quality over size. As for the new library, Piano promised to deliver a new-generation library which will be connected to the biggest and most famous ones in the world, such as Harvard and Cambridge. 2010 is the most probable date for the commencement of the construction and the project is due to 2015.  Kathimerini daily: Renzo Paino’s vision of high-tech ‘jewel’  

Hellenic Culture

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The International Centre for Hellenic Culture and Vocational Training (ICHCVT) is a grant by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation to the University of Ioannina. The Centre aims to serve as a bridge between Greece and Greeks living abroad. Its objectives include supporting the teaching of the Greek language to foreigners, promoting Greek-European culture, training young people in professions that will address needs in the Balkan Peninsula and the countries of the Black Sea region. The Centre, comprised of two buildings and covering a total area of 4,500 square meters, was designed by Alexandros Dovas. It is complete with teaching rooms, laboratories, space for cultural events, and a theatre.