Stavros Niarchos Park (Greece)
The new National Library of Greece and Greek National Opera House are sited in the Stavros Niarchos Park in Athens by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. This 17-hectare ensemble is located on an abandoned seafront piece of land – a parking lot left over from the 2004 Olympic Games. The park restores connections between the city and the sea and has quickly been accepted as a green space for the enjoyment by Athenians and visitors.
Deborah Nevins, landscape architect, used many indigenous Mediterranean plants to give the sense of being in a Greek landscape. From the Mediterranean Garden curving landscaped pathways wend their way up a gentle grade to a summit 32 m high. This forms the green roof of the opera and library, one of the largest in Europe and significantly reducing air conditioning requirements. The summit offers spectacular views of the sea, the Acropolis, and the cultural and educational park below, as well as of the Agora, the central plaza for cultural and educational events, and the 900 sqm glass-walled Reading Room.
Stavros Niarchos Laudation by Ed Bennis.