The architect Renzo Piano yesterday presented final designs for the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, which will include a 1400-seat hall for the national opera and nice new stacks for the national library, reports Architectual Record.
photos: courtesy Renzo Piano Building Workshop, all rights reserved
The $803 million project is privately funded, but will be turned over to the Greek government on scheduled completion, in 2015.
The timing of the announcement, as the country hunkers down for deep cuts and more demos after the latest IMF bailout, was decidedly dubious. A case of private-wealth hubris, perhaps. Shouldn’t the local oligarchs be doing more to save the national economy?
Even more questionable is whether any Greek government will be able to afford to run the new facility in four years’ time.
After all, many of the 2004 Athens Olympic sites have been allowed to fall into dereliction.
photo: (c) Daily Mail, all rights reserved
You can see Renzo Piano explain his vision on this video. Scroll in four minutes to skip the Greek preamble. ‘Everything becomes magic, everything is beautiful,’ says Renzo. Tell that to the pensionless crowds outside Parliament.