FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a multifunctional and environmentally sustainable education, arts, and recreation complex/destination which comprises the 210,000m2 Stavros Niarchos Park, and the new, state-of-the-art facilities of the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO). The SNFCC is a gift by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Greek state.
The SNFCC is created to be used by the general public and purposefully designed to facilitate access to all, including people with special needs. The goal of the SNFCC is to enrich the everyday lives of Greeks and attract millions of visitors from around the world.
The site of the SNFCC is located 4.5 km south of central Athens on the edge of Faliro Bay, and is owned by the Greek State. Following discussions with the Ministry of Environment and Public Works and the mayor of Kallithea, consensus emerged that the site was the most appropriate available piece of land for the construction of a project of such magnitude.
Construction begun in 2012 and the SNFCC was completed in 2016. Once the transfer to the Greek state is completed, the SNFCC will be maintained and operated by the State.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation will hand over the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to the Greek State in early 2017. During the transition phase, the Foundation continues its mission to introduce the project to the public through a daily and dynamic program of free public events that, offers visitors an opportunity to experience SNFCC’s programmatic potential, and its place as an urban destination for everyone. All the events are made possible through the exclusive support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which is presently in charge of the project, until the completion of the delivery process to the Greek State. Through these programs that, combine athletic, educational and artistic activities, the Foundation seeks to engage the public in an open dialogue about the SNFCC and to build substantive relationships that will continue during its official operation by the Greek State, the rightful owner of the project.
The SNFCC, as a whole (buildings and open spaces), can accommodate up to 32,000 visitors at any given time. Of these, 4,000 visitors can be hosted inside the buildings of the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO), including performance halls, lobby areas, the Lighthouse, etc.
The total cost of the SNFCC project is approximately $867/€630 million, including two grants of $6 mil (€5mil) each to the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera respectively, aiming to support the organizations’ transition to their new facilities. In 2009, the Foundation signed a contract with the Greek State, agreeing to assume the total cost of building and equipping the SNFCC. The contract was ratified by the Greek Parliament. The grant is one of the largest donations in Greece’s history and is the SNF’s largest grant, since the beginning of its activity in 1996.
Consistent with its goals of advancing education and the arts, the Foundation decided in 1998 to fund the construction of a building for the National Library of Greece, whose collections are currently housed in three separate locations and upgrade the facilities to enable access to learners of all ages, provide research and information resources, and connect the National Library to other Greek and major libraries in Greece and throughout the world. The concept was presented to the government, which expressed its support. Independent of this initiative, the SNF was considering a proposal to rebuild the premises of the Greek National Opera. The Foundation saw an exciting possibility to merge its disparate plans—one that was a perfect synthesis of its mission and commitment to Greece and could provide a lasting and transformative impact: to include the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera, and a cultural park in one site, and bequeath to the Greek people a great civic, cultural, educational and environmentally responsible landmark of international stature.
Renzo Piano, an internationally acclaimed architect (www.rpbw.com) is designing the SNFCC. He achieved worldwide fame in the 1970s with the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and has produced critically acclaimed cutting-edge buildings around the world since, including the regeneration of Genoa’s old port; the redevelopment of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin; the Kansai International Airport Terminal in Osaka; the remodeling and expansion of The Morgan Library & Museum and the New York Times’ new building in New York; and the Parco della Musica Auditorium in Rome. In 1998, Renzo Piano was awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor. The selection of the architect for the design of the SNFCC was the result of a thorough evaluation of multiple candidates by the Foundation’s Board of Directors and its advisors during the course of a closed international architectural competition. The Board remained focused on the candidates’ overall commitment to the excellence of every aspect of the SNFCC, their professional eminence as reflected by past success in relation to projects of similar scope and visibility, and their demonstrated respect for the history and culture of Greece. Renzo Piano fulfilled all of these requirements.
The Impregilo-TERNA joint venture has undertaken the construction of the SNFCC. The specific joint venture was selected through an extensive process following international standards, whereby leading Greek and international construction companies were invited to submit their bids. The tender process to select the contractor lasted a total of 10 months, and involved eight companies. The fundamental prerequisites for the commission were the quality and safety of the project’s construction, based on the final architectural plans, strict adherence to the project’s budget and schedule, as well as the contractor’s experience, know-how and financial viability. The decision to assign the project to a joint venture that includes a Greek company expresses the Foundation’s original intent, that the construction of the SNFCC brings significant and immediate economic benefits to the country.
The Stavros Niarchos Park covers 85% of the SNFCC site and is approximately 210,000 m2—doubling the green surface per capita in the surrounding municipalities of Kallithea, Moschato, Nea Smirni, and Palaio Faliro. In addition to improving the air quality, one of the Park’s ecological functions as it relates to the site is that it provides a green roof, minimizing the energy required to heat and cool the buildings. The Stavros Niarchos Park will be a respite from urban concrete, and will function as an oasis that serves as a source of daily inspiration and discovery for visitors of all ages. One of its most important functions will be its ability to knit the surrounding communities back together. One of its most integral features is the Great Lawn, which will offer a venue for concerts, festivals, films and other free entertainment programs for visitors.
The new state-of-the-art facilities will allow the National Library of Greece to broaden its mission and scope and assume a dual and expanded role; it will continue to be a research and study center for academics and students, but it will also function as an all-inclusive public resource, offering a variety of educational and cultural programming to children and adults based on similar projects that have been successfully implemented in public libraries across Greece and abroad. The NLG will also become an important venue for exhibitions of its holdings, as well as other traveling exhibitions. Selections of the NLG’s manuscripts will be exhibited on a rotational basis, affording visitors the opportunity to view Greece’s treasures and cultural heritage.
The Greek National Opera will now have a true world-class opera and ballet theater—its first home ever. The main auditorium’s (1,400 seats) world-class acoustics and mechanical capabilities will accommodate the most demanding international and local productions. The facilities also present the GNO with opportunities to strengthen its educational and outreach programs, while a smaller experimental (black box) theater (400 seats) can host more intimate and avant-garde productions.
An essential link between the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera is the Agora, an outdoor public meeting space between the entrance portal for the National Library and Opera lobbies. The Agora extends vertically at the SNFCC. Atop of the Park summit, patrons will encounter a 900 square meters, glass-walled Reading Room. Visitors near and far will visit the Park summit for its incredible vistas of the nearby sea and visual link to the city. The Lighthouse will not only provide a space for people to appreciate the views, but a quiet area to read, reflect or meet in small groups for seminars, study and a variety of cultural and educational events. Alongside the SNFCC is a wide Canal, a figurative extension of the adjacent sea, which will also function as an anti-flooding window for the whole site. Soaring above the summit and extending outward from its perimeter is a Photovoltaic Energy Canopy that will help provide power for the facility and will become a landmarked addition to the city skyline.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is one of the world’s leading private international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare. From 1996 until today, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has approved grant commitments of $1.9 billion / €1.6 billion, through 3,685 grants to nonprofit organizations in 111 nations around the world. The SNFCC is the Foundation’s largest grant.

With the desire to keep the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), in constant dialogue with the public until its official delivery to the State, the SNF intends to make the SNFCC fully accessible to the public, organizing open events that will give visitors the opportunity to re-discover and enjoy the project. Starting on August 16, 2016, the summer hours of operation for the Stavros Niarchos Park will be from 06:00AM to midnight every day. The winter hours of operation will be from 06:00AM to 20:00PM. Until the delivery to the Greek state is completed, a program of free events will be available including wellness and fitness programs, activities for children and families, screenings and music concerts. Visitors will have the opportunity to enter the buildings of the Greek National Opera and National Library of Greece by participating in one of the scheduled guided tours. The two buildings will be otherwise closed to the public at this time while the transition to the Greek state takes places and the GNO and NLG prepare for their move into their new headquarters.


Services
The SNFCC will be open seven days a week, from morning until night. At the SNFCC, one will be able to attend cultural events and participate in educational programs at the premises of the Opera, the Library and the Park. In particular, visitors will be able to attend performances by the Greek National Opera, but also by other organizations, at the 1400-seat main stage or in the Alternative 400-seat stage. Moreover, the Greek National Opera will hold educational programs and operate a dance school within its facilities. The NLG, apart from its research department, which aims at the development of academic excellence, will also have a Public department, the aim of which will be the promotion of reading and creativity through innovative educational programs and services. The Public Department of the NLG in the SNFCC will include specially designed areas, depending on the age of the users or the specific activities that will take place in each of them. Consequently, there will be a Video Gaming section, a Media Lab, a recording room and areas specially designed for children, but also for adults of different age groups. These areas will include the Entrepreneurship Center, an area that will act as an incubator for ideas and business initiatives, both through the availability of spaces and through the services it will provide. Furthermore, inside the “book castle”, visitors will be able to attend performances, seminars and other type of events. At the Park, visitors will be able to participate in educational activities, for example in the vegetable garden, or enjoy cultural events, have fun at the playground, go for walks or picnics. Also, from the top of the Hill, visitors will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of both Athens and the sea. The area of the Lighthouse will also offer a stunning, panoramic view of Athens, while below it, visitors will be able to visit the SNFCC’s catering facilities to enjoy coffee or a meal. Access to the Park will be free, and the aim is to hold a significant number of programs and events with free admission or a symbolic fee. The scheduling and the pricing of services, programs and events will of course be determined by the organizer, i.e. the GNO, the NLG, or the organization SNFCC SA, i.e. the Greek State.
Yes, many areas of the Park and the building complex are designed for hosting exhibitions. Indicatively, exhibitions will be hosted at the North entrance and the trails to the west of the Park, at the banks of the Channel, at the Agora, and at selected areas of the Library and Opera buildings.
Most educational programs at the SNFCC Park will be free. For some, there may be a participation fee, depending on the size and implementation cost of each program. The educational programming of the NLG and the GNO will take place in accordance with the operational procedure of each organization.
The NLG, apart from its research department, which aims at the development of academic excellence, will also have a Public department, the aim of which will be the promotion of reading and creativity through educational programs and innovative services. The Public Department of the NLG in the SNFCC will include specially designed areas, depending on the age of the users or the specific activities that will take place in each of them. Consequently, there will be a Video Gaming section, a Media Lab, a recording room and areas specially designed for children, but also for adults of different age groups. These areas will include the Entrepreneurship Center, an area that will act as an incubator for ideas and business initiatives, both through the availability of spaces and through the services it will provide. Furthermore, inside the “book castle”, visitors will be able to attend performances, seminars and other type of events.
Yes, according to the current operational procedure of the NLG.
The Park will be open from morning until sundown. When events are taking place at the Park during afternoon/evening hours, access to the Park will be directed via specific gates and paths that will be set by the SNFCC.

Transportation

Currently, the SNFCC site can be reached by car or public transportation, including buses and the tram. The tram stations of Delta Falirou and Tzitizifies are closely located to the site. For the facilitation of access to and from the SNFCC during the days of scheduled events, you can use the free shuttle bus service that connects Syggrou – Fix metro station (starting point from Kallirois Avenue) with Evripidou street (beginning of the Esplanade) and vice versa. The bus routes take place 30’ prior to the commencement and 30’ after the end of each event. For your easiest identification, the bus bears on it the SNFCC logo.

Ιt is expected that local authorities and the relevant government agencies will work together to establish a comprehensive transportation plan that would make the SNFCC accessible to as many people as possible. This issue concerns both the local government and the competent ministries.


SNFCC Management & Maintenance
Upon completion, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center will be handed over to the Greek State, which will undertake its complete and exclusive control and operation. The SNFCC is a gift by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation to the Greek State. With the primary task of ensuring the project’s sustainability, the Foundation proceeds with choices which, although may increase the Foundation’s initial investment cost, reduce the long term management costs of the SNFCC, to the benefit of the Greek State. A prime example of this mentality is the idea of the photovoltaic canopy, which will cover a significant proportion of the energy needs of the SNFCC. In addition to reducing the operating costs of the project, the Foundation also focuses on the methodology of raising funds which will contribute positively to the future operation of the SNFCC, after its delivery to the Greek State. Indicatively, other sources of revenue will stem from the full exploitation of the SNFCC premises, the parking spaces, the exploitation of dining facilities, the possibility of exploiting the SNFCC premises for events, etc.
SNFCC SA is a non-profit, limited liability, special purpose company, which was set up in order to coordinate the design, construction and outfitting of the SNFCC. Upon completion of the project, the one and only share of SNFCC SA will be transferred to the Greek State. The role of SNFCC SA, upon completion of the project, will be the supervision, maintenance, storage, organization and operation of the SNFCC, as well as the operation and maintenance of the Stavros Niarchos Park. Furthermore, SNFCC SA will organize educational and cultural events that will take place at the Stavros Niarchos Park, as well as in other spaces around the SNFCC, in consultation with the GNO and the NLG. The difference is that, whereas before delivery of the project to the Greek State, SNFCC SA is controlled by the Foundation, after the delivery of the project, SNFCC SA will also be delivered to the Greek State and the Foundation will have no involvement in its operation.
The plants will be watered by the method of drip irrigation and the irrigation schedule will be set according to seasonal variations. Irrigation water will come from drilling, and not from the public network. The plants which have been selected are drought-tolerant Mediterranean species, and do not have large irrigation requirements. This choice, like many others, was made by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in order to ensure the sustainability of the SNFCC, as well as the lowest possible maintenance costs.
The organization SNFCC SA will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Stavros Niarchos Park, after delivery of the project. Admission in the Park will be free, and the revenues for the Park’s maintenance will come from operating the parking and catering facilities, as well as from events that will take place within the Park’s premises. Another factor contributing to the sustainability of the Park’s operation is the individual choices made during its design phase. These include the selection of endemic plants and trees, which demand lower maintenance costs.

Collaboration with SNFCC
To request any type of meeting, you need to send an email to info@snfcc.org, quoting in detail the reason why you would like this meeting, and including the details of the organization you represent.
Providers/suppliers for the SNFCC’s services (such as parking, catering, bookstore, etc.) will be selected based on the functional design and operational procedure of the Cultural Center. The calls for tenders are not expected before fall of 2014. Any competition/tender procedures will be private, and SNFCC SA reserves the right to call on any companies it believes will fulfill the requirements.
The SNFCC will include a restaurant, a café and a bookstore. The tenders for the operation of these sites will be announced by the SNFCC within the next two years.

Employment at SNFCC
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) offers an internship program where participants can gain practical experience by being part of the construction and operational planning of the project. Information regarding the internship program and the application procedures are available on the SNFCC website. For more information about the program, visit the SNFCC website at www.snfcc.org.
As the needs of the SNFCC are under development at this time, the SNFCC volunteers program has not yet been specified. When these needs are formulated, we will inform you about any volunteering prospects that may occur, through the SNFCC website at www.snfcc.org.