Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center

Structural Designer

Expedition Engineering and OMETE

Client Name

Stavros Niarchos Foundation

Location

Athens, Greece

ARCHITECT

Renzo Piano Building Workshop Architect

DESIGN

Arup Mechanical and Electrical Engineering design

PROJECT MANAGER

Faithful and Gould Project management and cost consultancy

MAIN CONTRACTOR

Impregilo–Terna (Joint Venture)
Penelis Main contractor’s structural engineer

Images: © Yiorgis Yerolymbos, Michael Denance, Expedition Engineering

A new home for the Greek National Library and National Opera, the Center has already become a hub for regeneration in south-central Athens, and features a number of engineering innovations.

A super-slender, lightweight ferrocement canopy roof is raised on slender columns over the whole building, and carries a huge solar panel array – a modern counterpoint to the Acropolis. A network of seismic base isolators helps the structure survive earthquake conditions. Each isolator is so large that only one laboratory in the world could test them.

 

Judge's comment:

This outstanding project stood out to the Judges, with its courageous implementation of unusual construction materials and techniques. This building draws attention to its structurally expressive Acropolis-like photovoltaic-clad slender canopy, covering new facilities for the Greek National Opera and National Library. The Judges were particularly captivated by the engineering solutions required to solve challenging seismic requirements, whilst also aiming for high socio-cultural ambitions and achieving exemplary sustainability credentials.