Centre Culturel Onassis

2002 / 2010

Onassis Cultural Centre


A 900-seat opera-theater, a 200-seat multifunction auditorium, a 200-seat open-air amphitheater, a restaurant, an exhibition space and a conference centre.

The building is designed as a very pure translucent volume, made of Thassos marble, and raised above a glass base. When visitors move closer to the building, the opaque facade becomes more and more transparent. The opacity of the stone is balanced by a work on transparency, rhythm and materials.

This urban scenography relies on the particular design of the facades, imagined like a living membrane, thus expressing the Onassis Foundation’s spirit of openness to the city and the world. The simplicity of the volume and the abstraction of the architectural expression create a monumental quality on a challenging plot.

Inside, a precious and surprising object brings together the three auditoriums, fills the entire building and acts as the heart of the project. Emphasized by its surrounding empty space, its shell represents the ultimate scenography for Foundation events, whose presence is highlighted at the scale of the city.

Client: Alexander S.Onassis Foundation
Lead Architect: Architecture-Studio
Local Architect: Aeter Bet
Engineering: Omete SA, Seismomonosis SA, LDK, BE Choulet, Arcora
Scenography: Theatre Project Consultants
Acoustics: XU Acoustique
Interior Design of room 900: Mark Foley
Bar design & artistic intervention: Aemilia Papaphilippou
Assignment: Full design
Surface area: 18,000 sqm
Competition: 2002, winner
Completion: 2010

Athens, Greece

Onassis Cultural Centre

+ infos