Greece's Stavros Niarchos Park, located in Kallithea, Athens, was awarded first prize for the best modern designed garden in Europe by the European Garden Heritage Network (EGHN) at the Schloss Nordkirchen, a palace in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany on Friday.
The annual awards are supported by the Schloss Dyck Foundation and the Awarding Heritage project and have been presented since 2010 in three categories, with two added this year. The network is addressed to the general public and specialists alike, and aims to highlight the importance of gardens in society, tourism and regional economic development among others.
This year’s European Garden Award 2018/2019 prizes included five 1st Prizes and eight 2nd Prizes:
– Best development of a cultural landscape of European relevance (new category) = Biosphere Reserve Spreewald & Lausitzer Seenland, Central Europe
– Europe’s heritage of gardens and gardening (new category) = Kew Gardens, United Kingdom
– Best development of a historic park or garden = Broughton Grange, United Kingdom
– Innovative contemporary concept or design of a park or garden = Stavros Niarchos Park, Greece
– Large-scale green networks or concepts = Parkstadt, Germany
Regarding the Stavros Niarchos Park, whose grounds include the Greek National Opera and National Library (part of the garden extends over the library), the network said, “The park restores connections between the city and the sea and has quickly been accepted as a green space for the enjoyment by Athenians and visitors. Deborah Nevins, landscape architect, used many indigenous Mediterranean plants to give the sense of being in a Greek landscape. From the Mediterranean Garden curving landscaped pathways wind their way up a gentle grade to a summit 32 m high. This forms the green roof of the opera and library, one of the largest in Europe and significantly reducing air conditioning requirements. The summit offers spectacular views of the sea, the Acropolis, and the cultural and educational park below.”