Onassis Cultural Center, Athens
107 Leoforos Andrea Syngrou, Athens,
tel.: 213 017 8000 www.sgt.gr
The foundations of the Onassis Cultural Center, exclusively funded and overseen by the Onassis Foundation, were laid in Athens in 2004. The Center was built on a 3,000 sq m plot on Syngrou Avenue and covers an entire city block. The Center boasts 18,000 sq m of interior space.
The Onassis Foundation staged an international architecture competition and the design chosen among the 66 proposals entered from around the world was by the French architectural firm “Architecture Studio”, whose core architectural concept is encapsulated in the building’s facade: an airy white rectangular shell which makes innovative use of white marble bands. The unique configuration of the facade serves as a stage set which imbues the building with a sense of mystery both during the day, when the marble bands serve to reflect the intense light of Attica and create the impression from afar of a gentle wave, and at night when, artificially lit, they turn the image inside out by allowing the inside of the building to shine through and revealing the warm shell surrounding the rooms and auditoriums.
A new architectural study was drawn up for the interior of the two amphitheaters, while the ground-floor bar was redesigned by artist Aemilia Papafilippou around an original artwork. The theater lighting in both auditoriums was designed by James Morse from the London-based Light & Design Associates company, while the architectural lighting for the entire building was redesigned by Eleftheria Deko & Associates. The building includes two main auditoriums, seating 880 and 220 respectively, which are suited to a wide range of events including theater and dance performances, concerts, film screenings (multimedia, virtual reality), lectures and conferences.
The top floor of the upscale 107 Leoforos Syggrou building is home to Hytra, the Onassis Cultural Center top-rated excellent restaurant, which extends out onto the rooftop terrace during the summer months and offers breathtaking views of the Acropolis, the Philopappos monument, Lycabettus Hill and the Saronic gulf.