ArchDaily is once again updating you on the progress of The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center designed by Renzo Piano. We showed you initial plans for the building back in 2009. Since then, we have been provided with more detail on the development of the project, which we continue to share with you. As previously mentioned, the center will be a sustainable arts, education, and recreation complex that will contribute to the community of Athens, financed by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Plans for this building began five years ago but it was not until December 2011 that preparatory excavation work finally began. Construction is scheduled for Spring 2012 and according to the foundation website:
The beginning of the construction phase comes at a very critical juncture in modern Greek history and brings a much-needed sense of optimism and hope, as well as a whole range of significant economic benefits to the country. Approximately €1 billion of total economic stimulus will be derived from the upfront commitment in the construction of the SNFCC, while 1,500 to 2,400 people will be employed each year to support SNFCC construction and all related industries.
More after the break.
The building is estimated at €566 million (US$759 million) and scheduled to be completed in 2015. It will house the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera. The building is integrated into its site and will use the natural resources available to reduce its carbon footprint. Photovoltaic cells mounted on the roof will take advantage of solar and wind energy. Of this, Piano says, “The Cultural Center’s proximity to water, and the natural warm breezes and light of Athens were particularly inspiring during the design process. It was immediately clear that we must take advantage of all these elements to ultimately design a zero emissions building that expresses movement and energy.”
Lying low to the ground, the building has a subtle profile that emphasizes the natural qualities of the site – the sun, the sky, the landscape. It evokes an atmosphere that not only emphasizes respect qualities of the uses for which this space was designed, but equally is a tribute to the environment. The cultural center will be a place where the public can gather and passively enjoy the surroundings while interacting with patrons of the facility visiting for the ballet, theater, opera or numerous other activities to be housing at the SNFCC.