Architect Renzo Piano just completed a new park, theatre complex and library in Athens’ Kallithea district- the first public building in Greece to achieved LEED Platinum certification according to Inhabitat.
The complex was made possible due to the large part of $664 million or 596 million Euro donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, replacing a horse-racing track and a parking lot that was left over from the 2004 Greece Olympic Games.
The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center looks like an artificial hill as it ascents towards the southern part of the site to a maximum height of 104 feet (32 metres). It offers very good views of the sea and the bay of Kallithea. The sloping park is planted with indigenous species and was conceived by Deborah Nevins, a landscape designer from New York.
A large solar array was built and installed on the roof of the complex and dubbed by Piano as the “flying carpet”. Inside, different programs and functions are organised around a central gathering space inspired by the agora which dates back to ancient times. Over 5,000 manuscripts and documents are housed in a large library.
There are other featured spaces like a business incubator for entrepreneurs, play area for kids and teenagers and a music recording studio are distributed on the first 2 floors. The adjacent opera house, houses 2 auditoriums for traditional and experimental performances.
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