Visitors to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Kallithea, will (temporarily) notice something different.
One of the iconic areas, the Canal, has been drained for maintenance work.
Measuring 400 meters long, 30 meters wide, and 70 to 150 cm deep, the Canal unfolds between and alongside the building complex and the Esplanade.
On the opposite side of the Canal, the terraced marble seating is perfect for hosting improvised performances, while the area nearby is ideally suited for a stroll with a view to SNFCC’s glass façade.
The Canal is fed with water from the sea, which is returned to the sea, in a continuous flow, after being filtered. Inevitably, algae (a natural part of the marine ecosystem) grow.
SNFCC’s strict environmental specifications defined by the LEED Platinum certification prohibit treating with chlorine or other chemical agents. Instead, two robotic systems operate continuously, partially removing algae from the Canal's bottom.
The scheduled maintenance includes draining the Canal, cleaning the bottom with brushes and pressurised water, and cleaning the pipelines and pumping stations.