Metamorphosis Niarchos Cultural Centre Why Athens City Guide
Photograph: Courtesy of the SNFCC

Metamorphosis, a 4 – day special event

Where: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
When: 23rd-26th June 2016
Why Go: To visit the new facilities of SNFCC

The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) will host its four-day event Metamorphosis where visitors will have the opportunity to enter and engage with the new facilities through a series of events that is ideal for all ages.

The SNFCC is one the most significant cultural and architectural developments in Athens. As a multifunctional venue, it will host educational, cultural and recreational events. Designed by Renzo Piano, it includes new state-of-the-art facilities including the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera and the Stavros Niarchos Park with an area spanning 210,000 square metres.

Metamorphosis Niarchos Cultural Centre Why Athens City Guide

The new cultural centre is an architectural feat. Photograph: Courtesy of SNFCC

A rich programme of cultural, sports and educational activities are planned. Highlights include:

Day 1 Thursday 23rd June

Xylouris White 10:30pm, Great Lawn

The amazing duet of Giorgos Xylouris and Jim White perform, with sounds of jazz, post-rock and traditional Cretan music. Following successful tours in Europe, Australia and America their album ‘Goats’ has climbed to first place on the billboard charts, in the category of world-music.

Fencing 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Western Street

From the 16th century to today, fencing remains a unique and noble sport of skill, speed, strategy and above all mind and body coordination. Children are given the opportunity to get to know the art form of fencing and its techniques.

For children ages 5-15
Number of participants per program: 8
Program duration: 3-4 minutes. There will be a total of 50 programs.

Day 2 Friday 24th June

Circus of Illusions 12:00am, Labyrinth

Breathtaking performances by some of the world’s greatest stars of circus and magic featuring Cirque du Soleil legend, David Shiner, hand-balancer Elayne Kramer, illusions by the Smirnov Duo, the agile contortion dancer Nina Burri, dazzling cowboy AJ Silver, and the delightful hula hoop artist Anna Jack. Join host Lambros Fisfis for an original night of spectacle, magic, and comedy. Curated by magician Mark Mitton.

Metamorphosis Niarchos Cultural Centre Why Athens City Guide

Architect Renzo Piano during construction of the new cultural centre. Photograph: Courtesy of SNFCC

Architect Renzo Piano talks about his work and vision for SNFCC 6:30pm, Greek National Opera – Stavros Niarchos Hall

Renzo Piano, architect
Victoria Newhouse, writer, historian of architecture
Annabelle Selldorf, architect
Lia Piano, Director of Educational Programs and Conservation, Fondazione Renzo Piano
Adam Weinberg, Director of the Whitney Museum, New York
Yorgis Yerolympos, photographer, architect
John Peponis, Professor, School of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA

Moderated by Andreas Kourkoulas, Professor, School of Architecture, National Technical University (NTUA).

Admission with priority voucher available from 5:00pm at the Visitors’ Centre

Day 3 Saturday 25th June

Family adventures 9:30am-12:30pm Western Street

An adventurous race for the entire family including a fun boat ride in the canal of the Stavros Niarchos Park, where family members will work together in order to cover its distance. Other cooperative games throughout the morning.

Guided tours of the Stavros Niarchos Park, Greek National Opera and National Library of Greece from 9:30am

Visitors will become acquainted with the Stavros Niarchos Park, a total 210,000 square metres, designed by architect Renzo Piano. A walk through the gardens of Mediterranean plants and trees, alleys and pathways against the background of the sea and the Acropolis.

The Greek National Opera welcomes visitors to explore its innovative architecture and aesthetics. The tour will go through the main public areas, the Stavros Niarchos Hall, the ‘Alternative Stage’ as well as exploring backstage areas and rehearsal spaces.

Guided tours of the ultra-modern building of the National Library of Greece which houses rare collections. Visitors will discover a new library with fascinating information about its architecture and operation.

Each tour duration: 40 minutes

Number of participants per tour: 15- 20 people

Admission with priority voucher available from 9:00am at the Visitors’ Centre

Day 4 Sunday 26th June

Second Life Eleftheria Arvanitaki 10:30pm, Great Lawn

The legendary Greek songstress Eleftheria Arvanitaki presents her special relationship with poetry. Since the start of her career, Arvanitaki has set poetry to music, interpreting works by Sappho, Maria Polydouri, Kostas Karyotakis and others. She has collaborated with several great composers including Nikos Mamangakis and Ara Dinkjian. Her work has reached wide audiences in Greece and around the world through her unique voice and music.

Metamorphosis Niarchos Cultural Centre Why Athens City Guide

Legendary Greek artist Eleftheria Arvanitaki. Photograph: Courtesy of SNFCC

The concept and curation of Second Life has been conceived by Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Leda Roumani. Musical arrangements by Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis. Musicians: Yorgos Georgiades (bass), Alexandros Drakos Ktistakis (drums), Yannis Kyrimkyrides (piano), Nikos Mermiggas (lavta, bouzouki, lute, mandolin), Dimitris Tsakas (saxophone).

See the full four day programme.