The annual SNFCC Canal cleaning - Εικόνα

General information about the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and the architectural firm RPBW, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is a sustainable world-class cultural, learning, and recreational urban complex that includes the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera. It also includes the Stavros Niarchos Park, one of the largest green spaces of Athens, covering an area of 21 hectares.

The SNFCC was created thanks to an exclusive grant by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) which covered exclusively the cost for its design, construction, and outfitting. In February 2017, following the project’s completion, the SNF delivered the SNFCC to its rightful owner, the Greek State.

From the beginning of its operation until today, the SNFCC has welcomed more than 25 million visits and has been established as a landmark of modern Athens, a place where everyone has access to learning, the arts and events that stimulate, engage, and inspire. At the same time, the Stavros Niarchos Park is registered as a major metropolitan park in the Greek capital. Occupying 85% of the SNFCC’s total area, the Stavros Niarchos Park is the largest public Mediterranean garden in the world. It is home to a rich variety of flora, including olive trees, evergreen shrubs, carob trees, laurels, cypress trees, as well as an extensive selection of indigenous Greek aromatic plants. The Great Lawn is the heart of the Stavros Niarchos Park; it covers an area of 5,072 square meters. Situated right at the Park’s center, this is the point where all its paths cross; in the summer months, it hosts an extensive range of events and activities, such as film screenings, concerts and other.

Complemented by the events organized by the Greek National Opera and the National Library of Greece, the SNFCC’s program features music, dance, cinema, theater, and art exhibitions, as well as a series of educational workshops and talks and a variety of sports and wellness programs. SNFCC’s programming focuses on providing cultural stimuli and opportunities for entertainment and learning to all. Thanks to an exclusive grant by the SNF, events in their vast majority are of free admission.

Guided tours take place inside the state-of-the-art building complex. They include the new headquarters for the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, as well as the interior and exterior public space surrounding the buildings.

A unique element of the SNFCC is the SNFCC Lighthouse, which sits on top of the Greek National Opera, protected by the “Magic Carpet,” an energy-producing canopy made of photovoltaic panels spanning ten hectares. Like every lighthouse, the SNFCC Lighthouse is encased in glass, offering breathtaking panoramic views of Athens, Piraeus, and the Saronic Gulf, as well as direct visual connection to the Acropolis hill. 


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