Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University Unveils Plans for New Project in Baltimore
BALTIMORE, MD – The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Agora Institute at Johns Hopkins University has unveiled plans for the Institute’s home in Baltimore, designed by world-renowned architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The new structure on the Homewood campus promises to represent the mission and values of the Institute as well as the creativity and vibrancy of the university and the city.
Renzo Piano envisions the new building portraying the story of the Institute’s work, symbolizing a portal to connect it to the community beyond its walls. The design features two “floating” glass structures to embody the Institute’s commitment to transparency and openness—and to ensure that the community can see into the building, and that the researchers and others working inside can look out to the broader world.
“A building that houses an institute dedicated to democracy should be open, accessible, transparent — the work is for everyone,” Piano said. “The building is designed to reflect these priorities, in design, materials, and accessibility.”
Established in 2017 with a $150 million gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), the SNF Agora Institute is an interdisciplinary academic and public forum committed to strengthening global democracy through powerful civic engagement and informed, inclusive dialogue. It takes its name from the ancient Athenian Agora, a central space that was a hub of conversation and debate and an early manifestation of the public engagement so critical to modern democracies.
The Institute’s home will be located on a site that provides visibility, proximity to students and faculty, and accessibility for the community for events and other public forums.
The building will foster a community of scholars and practitioners engaged in interdisciplinary work at the intersection of research and practice. This work will have a strong public-facing component, and share the SNF Agora’s commitment to engagement, openness, and transparency...