Foundation of the Hellenic World to expand on Pireos

The Foundation of the Hellenic World, in operation on Pireos Street since 1998, is evolving into a significant center for culture and recreation. The foundation has more plans in the pipeline for the next five years that will utilize most of the 6.5-hectare site of the former Biosol factory, designed by Solonas Kydoniatis. In February last year, a renovated building on the site was added to the existing Foundation of the Hellenic World venue and used for the center’s Olympic Games exhibition. More spectacular additions are to come. Already under construction is a digital dome of innovative design that will establish a strong architectural identity for the center on Pireos. The multiform theater, due for completion in 2007, will bring the foundation’s first expansion phase to a close. The digital dome – facing Pireos – and the theater comprise a single perpendicular unit with various architectural elements to serve different purposes. The dome and theater are connected to the atrium, a semi-outdoor area that is accessible to the public via a separate entrance on Sikiaridi Street, parallel to Pireos. As the three architects – Giorgos Andreadis, Yiannis Tsiomis and Natalia Efraimoglou – told Kathimerini, great emphasis was given to the facade of the dome because of its central position. Its spherical shape is reminiscent of a rotating heavenly body. The effect derives from special processing of the surfaces and the choice of materials, such as the rings that encircle the outer shell, as well as nighttime illumination. Despite its appearance, the dome will not be a planetarium. The images screened will be fully interactive. Flexibility will be the main feature of the theater: Its two auditoria (one seating 700 the other 300) can be joined together, while the main auditorium can be adapted as needed into a classical amphitheater, a central stage surrounded by seats or a completely open space.

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