Portfolio created: 2007-2016
This photographic essay traces the development of Renzo Piano’s new Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, a multifunctional complex for arts, education, and entertainment in Athens. Intrigue and beauty was sought after in the grit of the construction site, where for nearly a decade the ephemeral forms that underlie and foretell the shape of the future landmark were meticulously recorded from the height provided by the site’s construction tower cranes. Deriving its title from architectural orthographic drawings, Orthographs tracks the progress of the building’s construction site against Piano’s visionary projections and plans. In the photographs of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center, the effects of perspective are recorded with precision, and human scale is accounted for with consistency.
A hope is expressed that—just as the architectural drawing has its own life, separate and free from the bricks-and-mortar structure—the photographs may hold their own meaning, as documents of this extraordinary building project, and perhaps something more. The Orthographs volume distributed by Yale University Press, offers rare, behind-the-scenes access to the work performed and the land and materials moved in the service of turning vision into reality. The large format invites readers to immerse themselves in the photographs and texts by Renzo Piano and Robert and Katharine Storr hail the importance of the Centre and its role in transforming the physical and cultural topography of Athens.