With the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) nearing completion, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation presented the completion of the Energy Canopy, the last important milestone of the construction phase and one of the most innovative elements of the SNFCC, designed by Renzo Piano and located in Athens, Greece.
The SNFCC’s Energy Canopy is a marvel of construction and engineering. With an elaborate composition, the Energy Canopy is supported by 30 columns and composed of 717 individual, precast pieces—towering over the Greek National Opera building. Despite the fact that it weighs 4,700 tons, measuring 100 x 100 meters with its highest point at 46 meters, the Energy Canopy creates the optical illusion of a very light structure, suspended above the SNFCC and reaching into the city skyline.
Apart from its technical and aesthetic characteristics, the Canopy also plays a crucial role in the optimal operation of the SNFCC, and its environmental sustainability. The Energy Canopy has been constructed in such a way that it produces 2GWh of electrical energy per year, thus contributing to fulfilling the energy requirements of the Greek National Opera (GNO) and National Library of Greece (NGL) buildings, while also meeting the objective of minimizing CO2 emissions.
The successful creation and construction of the Energy Canopy marks yet another major milestone which brings the SNFCC one step closer to its completion. Thirty-nine months after the beginning of the construction, the following components of the project are nearing completion within the next few months, including: the Lighthouse, a multipurpose room on the roof of the GNO; the glazing for the facades; the floors; the suspended ceilings; paint and lighting features; the fixed furniture equipment, including the bookstands; the mechanisms of the central and the alternative stage, and the sitting areas for spectators.
Furthermore, the installation of the photovoltaic elements onto the canopy will begin in December and will be completed by early February 2016, as will the filling of the Canal with sea water. On the surrounding grounds, final steps include the completion of the auxiliary buildings, the pathways, the sports facilities and the planting of the rest of the Park.
Construction of the SNFCC is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016, when it will be donated to the Greek State, to its people, and society at large.
“The Foundation’s largest single gift is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), totaling $831 million (€596 million). The SNFCC is a testament and a commitment to the future of the country and the Greek society as a whole”, said Andreas Dracopoulos, Co-President of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. “After three years of intensive construction works, the SNFCC is maturing, nearing completion, and is getting ready to take its next steps for its handing over to the Greek people, who –we hope- will enjoy and embrace it”.