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Old February 22nd, 2008, 02:56 AM   #1
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Κέντρο Πολιτισμού Ιδρυμα Στ. Νιάρχος | St. Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (by Renzo Piano)

Quote:
Renzo Piano Chosen to Design New Greek Opera, Library Complex

By Maria Petrakis

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Renzo Piano, the architect who designed the New York Times Building, was chosen to build a cultural center in Greece that will house the country's new opera house and national library.

Piano will develop a 42-acre (17 hectare) property on the coast near the center of Athens, the capital, according to an e- mailed statement from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, which commissioned the project. The site will house the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center with new opera and library facilities within an educational and cultural park.

The foundation has budgeted 300 million euros ($442 million) for the center and will hand over the project to the Greek state on completion.

Piano, 70, a native of Genoa, Italy, won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1998 and has designed the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzerland, and the Kansai International Airport Terminal in Osaka, Japan. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation funds activities in education, social welfare, health and medicine and arts and culture and has disbursed more than $318 million since its inception in 1996.

The foundation was created by Stavros Niarchos, one of the most successful Greek shipowners. Niarchos, who died in 1996, bought his first six freighters during the 1930s to import wheat from Argentina and the Soviet Union. He leased vessels to the Allied Forces during World War II and used the insurance funds after they were destroyed to buy oil tankers. At its peak, his company operated more than 80 tankers.
Can't wait to see the designs, hope that whatever structure it is does not dominate the skyline in anyway, but is at the same time modern and cutting edge like the New Benaki.

As I am sure you know, he is a very respected architect - famous for certain tall buildings as well as low rise. I am very curious as to what he will build here in Athens. I hope for something ultramodern and completely stylish.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renzo_Piano

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 04:09 AM   #2
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As long as it is contemporary, respects its setting/context, I'm not too concerned about its impact on the skyline.....A higher building form (projecting roof or other architecural feature) could work and draw attention away from the sea of characterless 6-8 storey flats.

This should be great scheme.

Many thanks to the Stavros Niarhos Foundation......

Good to see some of the old money families still care about the cultural development of greece.....
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 10:03 AM   #3
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Excellent news! Hope it's taller than 27 meters...
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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*
Great news

Found this commentary today that fits well with many of our views. (Pay particular attention to the last paragraph)


from the superb blog : Ο Σφυγμός της Μέρας
http://fivoskarzis.blogspot.com/index.html


Παρασκευή 22 Φεβρουαρίου – και δεν θα την βρείτε σήμερα στα πρωτοσέλιδα αυτή την είδηση. Την έχουν σπρώξει στις εσωτερικές σελίδες τα όχι ένα, όχι δύο αλλά 41 συναπτά μέτρα για να επανέλθει στο έδαφος το ιπτάμενο μπρόκολο, που μπορεί να κρίνει τις τύχες μιας κυβέρνησης πιο πολύ από το Σκοπιανό. Την έχουν εξοβελίσει οι ήττες της ΑΕΚ και του Παναθηναϊκού, που αποδεικνύουν πόση σημασία έχει να διαλέγεις το σωστό Πορτογάλο – αυτά συμβαίνουν όταν απορρίπτεις τον Πινέιρο και κρατάς τον Πεσέιρο…. Αλλά όταν τα μπρόκολα θα έχουν μαραθεί, τα πρωτοσέλιδα ανακυκλωθεί και, πιθανότατα μαζί και οι σημερινοί πρωταγωνιστές τους, αυτή η σχετικά μικρή είδηση θα είναι εδώ, στην Αθήνα για να θυμίζει πως αυτοί που την κατοικούν σήμερα ίσως να μην είναι τόσο άχρηστοι όσο επιλέγουν να φαίνονται στην ειδησεογραφία τους.

Στον παλιό Ιππόδρομο, ναό των στοιχημάτων και των ντοπαρισμένων αλόγων, θα χτιστεί ένα μεγάλο πολιτιστικό κέντρο. Θα κοστίσει 300 εκατομμύρια ευρώ. Το Ίδρυμα Σταύρος Νιάρχος, που το χρηματοδοτεί, ανακοίνωσε ποιος είναι ο αρχιτέκτονας που επέλεξε για το συγκρότημα – ανάμεσα σε άλλα μια νέα Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη, όπου ίσως να μπορούν να μπαίνουν και αναγνώστες, που θα είναι σημαντική διαφορά με την παλιά, και μια νέα Λυρική Σκηνή. Ο αρχιτέκτονας είναι ο Ρέντσο Πιάνο – αν ήταν ποδοσφαιριστής θα ήταν ο Ροναλντίνιο και δεν θα χρειαζόταν να εξηγούμε ποιος είναι…

Τουλάχιστον, η χώρα μαθαίνει. Πριν από μερικά χρόνια, η Ελίζα Γουλανδρή είχε προτείνει να κατασκευάσει στην Αθήνα σε σχέδια ενός άλλου της ίδιας κατηγορίας, του Πέι, ένα Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης για να στεγάσει τη μοναδική συλλογή της. Θα τα προσέφερε και το κτίριο και τη συλλογή. Τότε δείξαμε μεγάλη οικολογική ευαισθησία και δεν επιτρέψαμε να κοπούν κάτι κακομοίρικα δεντράκια στη Ρηγίλλης, με αποτέλεσμα το σχέδιο να βρίσκεται ακόμη σε εκκρεμότητα. Αυτή τη φορά φαίνεται πως δεν θα κάνουμε τα ίδια.

Η επιλογή του Ρέντσο Πιάνο έχει ενδιαφέρον και για συμβολικούς λόγους. Το γνωστότερο κτίριό του είναι το Μπωμπούρ, το κέντρο Πομπιντού στο Παρίσι – αυτό το εργοστάσιο πολιτισμού που είχε ξεσηκώσει τεράστιες αντιδράσεις όταν χτίστηκε (όπως και ο πύργος του Άιφελ άλλωστε) και σήμερα τον συναγωνίζεται ως σύμβολο μιας πόλης που δεν της λείπουν και τα σύμβολα. Και έχει σημασία γιατί η Αθήνα και η Ελλάδα χρειάζονται σήμερα όλα όσα είχε δημιουργήσει το Μπωμπούρ και ο εμπνευστής του: χρειάζεται και τη βιβλιοθήκη, χρειάζεται κάτι που θα παρακινήσει νέους επισκέπτες να πάνε μαζικά σε χώρους όχι μόνον πολιτιστικής αναψυχής αλλά και της πιο κοπιώδους εκδοχής της, που είναι η ανάγνωση. Χρειάζεται ακόμη κάτι να ταράξει τα νερά, χρειάζεται ακόμη και μια φασαρία, αν γίνεται, και γιατί όχι αντιπαράθεση, ένα σχέδιο που να προκαλέσει συζήτηση, αντιδράσεις ενδεχομένως, να βγάλει στην επιφάνεια τις διαφορετικές ανησυχίες και τα διαφορετικά ενδιαφέροντα μιας μεγάλης μάζας ανθρώπων που έχουν προτιμήσει την ιδιωτικότητα των απόψεών τους απέναντι σε ένα απέραντο ιδεολογικό και –λυπούμαι να πω και πολιτικό- τέλμα, που τους απογοητεύει, τους αποθαρρύνει και τους απομονώνει. Πολύ παραπάνω από ένα κτίριο, που από μόνο του δεν θα ήταν καθόλου λίγο.

*

http://www.tovimadaily.gr//Article.a...5012&sn=&spid=


*

Last edited by SKLAVENITIS; February 22nd, 2008 at 11:30 AM.
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Old February 22nd, 2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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WOW. Execellent news. Cant wait to see the final design.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #6
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if this project will get realized, Athens will get a very important symbolic, monumental building. Piano is the architect of Center Pompidou, Paris. Even this info gives you an idea about what kind of a building you will have. Maybe it will be the most important modern sutructure in Athens.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuvvaci View Post
if this project will get realized, Athens will get a very important symbolic, monumental building. Piano is the architect of Center Pompidou, Paris. Even this info gives you an idea about what kind of a building you will have. Maybe it will be the most important modern sutructure in Athens.
I agree. Piano has also completed an award winning scraper in Sydney, the ABN AMRO building, better known as Aurora place, a very exclusive residential apartment block in the ritzy end of Sydney and IMO one of the classiest highrises in Australia, if not the world.

Aurora Place on the right





Quote:
The curved and twisted shape of east fašade is aimed to correspond spatially with Sydney Opera House and to represent the sublime marine environment of the harbour - wikipedia


BTW, Piano was once commissioned to do some work for the Old Town of Rhodes, however that never came to fruition. Hopefully this time his work in Greece will be realised through what is potentially a landmark cultural precinct by a signature architect of our times.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #8
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Also, 442 million dollars is a very great amount to build something monumental!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #9
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1st this design is horrible and digusting...
2nd dont we have any great greek architects or what??
This IS GREECE!!!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:04 PM   #10
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Also, 442 million dollars is a very great amount to build something monumental!

Really a lot. The new Acropolis museum cost 75mln dollar.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gorgos View Post
Really a lot. The new Acropolis museum cost 75mln dollar.
the New Acropolis Museum cost 137million euros!!!!
The money are enouph for the National Opera,National Library and a park similar to National gardens.....I would expect more...make your search around the world and you will see then 300 million euros is a piece of cake...espeially for projects like those in Dubai...where the new Luvre will cost 400 million euros just for a museum.....
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #12
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Of course, you are right, but coming from a private fund as a gift to the state, it is amazing.

http://www.greekembassy.org/Embassy/...&article=14084

I hope the contractor knows the real amount!
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovem View Post
1st this design is horrible and digusting...
2nd dont we have any great greek architects or what??
This IS GREECE!!!
Don't go getting all parochial on us.

The simple answer is: no, there are no known Greek architects of the same calibre as Renzo Piano.

I completely disregard the idea that countries should only use their own architects to design their iconic buildings. And what's more, there isn't a single country in the world that subscribes to such logic.

Greece should not be held back by insular nationalism any longer. If the world's greatest architects want to imbue Athens with their work, we should be welcoming them with open arms. Because frankly, when it comes to good quality architecture and urban planning, we still need all the help we can get.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovem View Post
1st this design is horrible and digusting...
2nd dont we have any great greek architects or what??
This IS GREECE!!!
1st. Art is universal
2nd. If you don't want a foreign architect, you should demolish Classic triologgy at Panepistimou, Olympic park and stadium and many other monumental buildings of Athens, including the parliament.
3rd. No need nationalism at the art and culture. Even national cultures get value as long as they become universal.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #15
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Dont get your camels mixed: The Louvre Abu Dhabi will cost 83 millions and not 400. 400 Millions are the costs for the copyright of the name "Louvre" for 30 years.
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με πληρωμή την πλήρη υποταγή του εξασφαλισθέντος ή την πνευματική και ψυχική διάπλαση ενός ελεύθερου ανθρώπου, με τεχνική αναθεώρησης κι ονειρικής δομής,
με αγωνία απελευθέρωσης και με διαθέσεις μιας ιπτάμενης φυγής προς τ'άστρα; M.X.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bel Ludovic View Post
. If the world's greatest architects want to imbue Athens with their work, we should be welcoming them with open arms.
I don't care about the nationality of architects, artists, engineers or scientists (or any other profession). But Renzo Piano does not actually WANT to come to Athens and built something.

The Stavros Niarchos foundation explicitly declared that it was afraid the super-star architects would not participate in an open architectural contest.

Which to my understanding is a super lame excuse for a multitude of reasons.

-Though I am a big fan of Renzo Piano this doesn't mean that he can deliver every single time.
-If you have a competition you see a lot of different designs. If Renzo Piano has the best looking one, let him win. Case closed. If someone else performs better. Hey! You have a better design, EVEN better than Renzo Piano. How awesome is this?
- I tend to disagree that significant names would not appear:
Athens, 450 mil$, Huge Cultural - Educational Building. (Other examples: Museum of Acropolis, Hellenicon Park).
- This "gesture" implies that Renzo Piano wouldn't submit a proposal, so instead we provide him with guarantees, feed him with money, in order to accept.
- Renzo Piano is an old guy, 70 years old, sure he was a workshop, but why don't give the chance to younger architects to show their talent. Remember, you don't have to choose the design except if is better of what you already consider "very good".
- They could always repeat the contest if it was unsuccessful, give the best designs some awards and forget about it.


I am not saying that Renzo Piano is not gonna make it. I am arguing that there are better ways to reach a great design.
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Old February 24th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovem View Post
1st this design is horrible and digusting...
Firstly, do you have a pic of the design? I thought it was still in the design process?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ovem View Post
2nd dont we have any great greek architects or what??
This IS GREECE!!!
Secondly, aren't you a self-professed communist? For a communist you display a very unsavoury nationalism. Communism plus nationalism does not add up. Yes there are great Greek architects, but great projects do not demand local heroes. All the great cities in the world get great people from everywhere to work in their cities. This has happened throughout history and that's what makes them great. Spare us the juvenile out-bursts!!

Now read this...

Quote:
Piano deal hits the right notes

Celebrated Italian architect set to create monumental seafront complex in Faliron for Niarchos Foundation


Renzo Piano is behind landmark constructions such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia and the new New York Times building in Times Square, New York City.

By Dimitris Rigopoulos - Kathimerini

There is little doubt that world-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano is the first choice of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for the creation of a new seafront cultural, educational and recreational complex at the Faliron Delta, comprising the new National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera.

A memorandum of cooperation was signed by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and representatives of the charitable foundation in June last year. The foundation is donating the funding for the construction of two 60,000-square-meter buildings, as well as the development of a park covering an area of about 12 hectares – approximately the size of the National Garden.

With the official announcement by the foundation expected sometime in the spring, Kathimerini contacted Piano’s headquarters in Genoa. There was no hint that anything could upset the deal on the Italian side.

The choice of such a leading name confirms the extremely high standards set by the foundation for the development of a truly monumental cultural, educational and leisure center. At the same time, the new complex will substantially revamp the city’s architectural product in an increasingly competitive environment.

Speaking at an earlier date, Andreas Drakopoulos, a member of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation board of directors, had set the bar high. “We are looking for the top people in the field and to my great surprise those who design and carry out works on this scale are not that numerous at an international level. They are all very well known, but there are not many of them,” noted Drakopoulos in an interview with Kathimerini. Against this background, the foundation did not hold an open competition – fearing, in other words, that the so-called “star” architects would not turn up to participate.

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Piano will be collaborating for the second time. The Italian architect was at the helm of the renovation and expansion of the in New York. A project funded by the Greek foundation, the restored building was inaugurated in 2006.

Piano is a member of the elite of the global architectural scene, having developed landmark works around the world. Among them the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (in collaboration with Richard Rogers); the Debis Tower in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz; the Cite Internationale in Lyon; the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia and the new New York Times building in Times Square, New York. In 1998, Piano was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. At the age of 70, Piano is about to undertake his first Athenian project at the peak of a sensational career.

source
Just be grateful...and hopeful it actually happens
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Old February 24th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by savas View Post
Dont get your camels mixed: The Louvre Abu Dhabi will cost 83 millions and not 400. 400 Millions are the costs for the copyright of the name "Louvre" for 30 years.
the copyright is 1 billion...i think you have to make your research..the money you describing are really few.....
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Old February 24th, 2008, 05:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neorion View Post
Firstly, do you have a pic of the design? I thought it was still in the design process?


Secondly, aren't you a self-professed communist? For a communist you display a very unsavoury nationalism. Communism plus nationalism does not add up. Yes there are great Greek architects, but great projects do not demand local heroes. All the great cities in the world get great people from everywhere to work in their cities. This has happened throughout history and that's what makes them great. Spare us the juvenile out-bursts!!

Now read this...



Just be grateful...and hopeful it actually happens
I agree with neorion..i cant believe it....
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Old February 24th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #20
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I tend to disagree that significant names would not appear

I am not saying that Renzo Piano is not gonna make it. I am arguing that there are better ways to reach a great design.
Spot on. Competitions are always the best way to go, when it concerns big budget, large scale projects.
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