Piano to design Athens Modern Urban Icon

on Friday,January 30,2009 21:01

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A famous Italian architect keeps busy with a second major project revealed this month.

Renzo Piano''s architectural firm has presented the design of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, housing the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera, both set within the Stavros Niarchos Park in Athens.

Hailed as a "new urban icon," the complex will feature art exhibits and a technologically advanced library which will be made available to both physical and virtual users.

Moreover, in keeping with the designer and the sponsor''s principles, the blueprint envisions environmentally friendly, emissions neutral facilities. To achieve that, Piano and his Building Workshop studio designed an innovative roof that will consist of a series of interconnected photovoltaic cell panels allowing the structure to utilize solar and wind energy.

According to Piano, "The Cultural Center''s proximity to water, and the natural warm breezes and light of Athens were particularly inspiring during the design process." He also thanked the Foundation for giving him a chance to contribute to "such a generous gift to Greece."

The news follows a recent announcement that Piano, 71, has been commissioned to work on an architectural revival project in Valletta, Malta.

The Foundation''s goal for the Cultural Center is to honor Greek culture by enabling both Greek and global visitors to experience art, education, and green space.
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