The National Library of Greece (Greek: Εθνική Βιβλιοθήκη) is situated near the center
of city of Athens. It was designed by the Danish architect Theophil Freiherr von Hansen,
as part of his famous Trilogy of neo-classical buildings including the Academy of Athens
and the original building of the Athens University.
It was founded by Ioannis Kapodistrias.
Planned relocation to Phaleron Bay
The present building has long been inconvenient due to limited space
and technology demands. Although the Vallianos building will continue to house
some of its current functions, the bulk of the library will be relocated to a new
22,000-square meter building at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center
on the Phaleron Bay “Delta”. The 20-hectare Delta is a seafront area that used
to host the Athens horse race track, which was replaced by the
Markopoulo Olympic Equestrian Centre for the Athens 2004 Olympics.
Italian architect Renzo Piano proposed a radical new plan for the National Library
and the National Opera of Greece, and the project will be funded by the
Stavros Niarchos Foundation and donated to the Greek state. The twin buildings will be
integrated within a landscaped park with indigenous Mediterranean flora,
and will feature extensive renewable energy facilities and a central plaza
around a 30-m wide seawater channel.
Work on the project started in 2012 with completion due for 2017.