November 04 2013

Mega-Projects Explosion at Faliron Delta in Attica, Greece

The construction of the largest public cultural complex in Greece is currently being developed at an unabated pace at the Southern coastline of Attica next to Faliron Delta. Personally, I don’t remember a public project progressing faster since the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. This is because the project is fully granted by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNF).

Faliron Delta, Southern Coastline of Attica, Greece

For many years, there was an imperative need for a new building to host the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera (GNO); and from time to time, different sites around Athens were proposed. Finally, in 2006, the Greek State decided that the site of the Former Hippodrome in Kallithea Borough should host the aforementioned cultural buildings. The site lies next to Olympic premises that have fallen into disuse after the Games, and is adjacent to a huge decrepit and decaying coastal area.

Renzo Piano's Master Plan for the Faliron Delta and the new Cultural Complex, GreeceMaster Plan of the Cultural Centre National Library of Greece, Greek National Opera, S.N. Parc

However, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation also funded the construction of a sports center for the borough of Kallithea and the preliminary studies for the regeneration of the adjacent coastal area from Faliro Delta and up to the Peace and Friendship Stadium. When completed, these projects altogether will affect a huge area of coastal Southern Attica, and will convert it into a cultural and sports pole of metropolitan importance.

The coastal regeneration will divide Faliron Bay into six different zones that will each serve a specific set of uses:

  • An ecological park with mild sport activities;
  • A watersports area and a marina;
  • A conference area;
  • An aviation museum;
  • A zone with recreational facilities and infrastructures; and
  • A zone of transport infrastructures.

The architect responsible for the cultural complex and the general master plan of the coastline is the distinguished Italian architect Renzo Piano. His central idea, as depicted in the renderings shown in this post, stems from his intention to bring the sea into the city and facilitate the accessibility of local residents and visitors towards a Metropolitan Faliro Park. Nonetheless, the procedures for Faliro Park have come to a halt due to bureaucratic reasons by the recent government reforming, severely jeopardizing its construction using European Union Funds.

Render of the Cultural Complex and the S.N Parc next to the canal, Greece

What’s your opinion on large scale urban planning and in which way do you think that projects of this size can affect people and communities in big cities?

Credits: Images and data linked to sources.

Alkisti Eleni Victoratou

Alkisti Eleni Victoratou originates from Andros, a Cycladic island in Greece, and has lived and studied in Thessaloniki, England, Spain, and Athens-where she currently resides. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and in Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens. Having this multicultural and interdisciplinary background gives her a better understanding of socially sensitive urban issues. Her dissertation thesis in Architecture dealt with the study and assessment of the legislation relating to Bioclimatic Architecture in the European Mediterranean countries of France, Spain, and Greece. Her interests also extend to sustainable technologies and parametric design, contributing to building design and urbanism. During her internship with The Grid, she will concentrate on the most important top-down and bottom-up urban transformations of Athens during their current Crisis. Her aspirations are to further her academic and professional specializations in urban issues and sustainable design.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 4th, 2013 at 9:14 am and is filed under Architecture, Infrastructure, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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7 Responses to “Mega-Projects Explosion at Faliron Delta in Attica, Greece”

  1. Geoff Bliss Says:

    Oh boy! Looks like someone is overdosing on Harvard GSD-inspired planning. I love the idea of this, but never understand why cities have to spend millions hiring a starchitect to create glorified over designed “nature parks.” But then again, I’m not Athenian and this is, for all intensive purposes, “all greek to me.” Nice writing. Look forward to seeing more.

  2. Alkisti Eleni Victoratou Says:

    Thank you for your comment and encouragement Geoff. Yes, I also believe that the project is unnecessarily expensive and although there is full funding from a single donor-there is a great concern whether the state after the completion of the works will be able to maintain the buildings and the park. At the moment the public sector in Greece is suffering incredible cuts in an effort to save money for the debt …For me is like giving away a very expensive car to a person that can’t even afford the petrol…

  3. Jm Says:

    Any updates on the Faliro Park progression? It would be sad if the park section is not realized. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

  4. Alkisti Eleni Victoratou Says:

    Hello,
    Construction activities for “Stavros Niarchos Park” and all the rest are in progress. According to the schedule the park will have been completed by the end of 2015.

  5. JM Says:

    Greetings,

    I think I wasn’t clear about what I was asking, I am interested in what you wrote about the Faliro Delta coming to a halt. As you wrote below
    “the procedures for Faliro Park have come to a halt due to bureaucratic reasons by the recent government reforming, severely jeopardizing its construction using European Union Funds”….will this part of the project be realized by 2015;

    Thank you and i am so sorry I was not clear in my question…Have a great day

  6. Alkisti Eleni Victoratou Says:

    Both parks are in the same area. I should have commented on both parks for a more complete answer. The Park of the Faliro bay was supposed to finish in 2015 with all the rest (S. Niarchos Park, τhe National Library and the National Opera House). As far as I know, the delay of the required presidential decree signature, due to the recent cabinet reshuffle (june), led to the loss of 340 million euros financial support from the European program NSRF (National Strategic Reference Framework) 2007–2013. New predictions say that contracts with construction companies will not be signed until the end of summer 2014.
    I am really wondering how they are going to bridge the gap of the missing 340 million euros until September 2014.

  7. Jm Says:

    Greetings,

    Has there been any updates to the Faliro Delta Bay Park Project? Any updates would be appreciated. Thank

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