Building to spruce up Pireos Street

The Michael Cacoyannis Cultural Foundation, currently under construction on Pireos Street, is hardly noticeable, squashed as it is between two indifferent buildings. The neighborhood is so aesthetically damaged that the battle seems uneven. Will the new cultural center, which bears the signature of Vassilis Sgoutas’s architectural office, succeed in imposing a new architectural identity in one of the road’s most unpleasant sections? It is a positive thing that the new cultural center will cause a rift in an area taken over by cheap ugliness, but it remains to be seen whether the rift will suffice to shake things up. For the time being, construction is going ahead at full speed, aiming at an opening next autumn. The 9.67-million-euro budget covers a four-story building with two basements and an overall surface area of 6,810 square meters. The complex will include a 314-seat theater, an 115-seat movie theater, a 68-seat experimental movie theater, an exhibition hall, a restaurant, offices and an underground garage for 53 cars. The plot of land already belonged to the Greek-Cypriot filmmaker and work is being jointly financed by national and EU funds. The environment-friendly facade will feature a courtyard which is a main element in the composition. On both sides it will have side screens that will project the center’s happenings and large posters from Cacoyannis’s films. They will also separate the complex from the adjacent buildings. All three foyers overlook the three-story main atrium, visually uniting all the different levels and uses of the foundation. The atrium is open on three sides, while the fourth side is a very lean, bare wall that can be used for screenings.