The Stavros Niarchos Culture Center is a project created with the ambition to become the center of the educational and cultural life of the modern city of Athens.
The architect Renzo Piano, who undertook the work, talks dialectically with the past and the conditions of founding the city of Athens in the classical era. He creates an artificial hill at the top of which he places the Lighthouse. Thus, there is a point of reference and orientation for the modern city in correspondence with the pre-existing sacred rock of the Acropolis. At the same time, the view to the sea and the urban structure of the city is ensured, elements that enhance the importance of the hill. In the composition of the project, the Agora has also a predominant role, a courtyard of gathering that prepares the visitor for his transition to the Library and the National Opera.
R. Piano, aiming to bring man not only in contact with his comrades but also with nature, exploits the elements of the environment, the natural facts of the city,identifies the deficiencies and tries to complete them. A typical example is the park, which occupies 85% of the total area. The park is a pleasant green space accessible to all city's inhabitants. Moreover, along the building complex, R. Piano integrates the liquid element, creating an artificial water channel, which increases the vitality of the space, offers the visitor a different image of the city and creates the illusion that is located by the sea.
It is thus created in the city of Athens, in the area of Faliro, a nucleus, a modern center that respects its historical past, draws data from it and integrates it into modern architecture.