New Cyprus Museum

This is an international architectural, two-phase competition that lasted 8 months. In the first phase, among 129 entries, seven propositions were selected, and in the second phase, three awards were given by the 9 members jury, in which Sir Peter Cook and Elias Zengelis took part.

The new museum will host one of the largest collections of Cypriot archeology, projecting into international scope the history and the culture of Cyprus.

The particularity of an archaeological museum is that it hosts a world that comes from the bowels of earth. The residues of human life, humble or precious, clumsy or artifacts, that the earth preserved offering them the value of priceless. With this value they were rediscovered by the humans, digging into the earth to find their identity. They are the distant traces of everyday people, the archetype offspring of human life. Anthropocentric prototypes of chronic soul. What should be then the new environment for something that comes back to light? The proposal suggests to be raised from the soil, and declare its presence to modern humans. Since when something returns from obscurity and oblivion becomes collective memory and belongs to all. Needs a new protected environment, but which communicates, receives and diffuses in the city.

It is the hovering cloud of a distinctive heritage, which while longer belongs to all – is global -, it cannot leave because is attracted from the Cypriot land of its birth and thus levitates but remains motionless –it is “meteor” -, unable to be separated from the terra.

The intention for highlighting the archeological finds from the excavation and the past to the light and the present time, led to elevate the museum, thus allowing for the ground level to remain free and be formed with various qualities. As a result, is created a new spatial stratigraphy composed by three horizontal zones. The upper zone with the hovering body of the museum – the Memory layer. The intermediate zone that welcomes the city – the City layer. The lower zone – the River layer – which hosts everyday functions, is organized around the museum’s atriums and extends to the new park of Pedios river.

The content of the permanent exhibition defined the architectural proposal with the division of three spatial and conceptual entities, each one corresponding on one of the lifted volumes. TOPOS, narrates prehistory and focuses on the relations of the first settlers with the land and its resources. SEA, focuses on the continuous relation between the island and the sea – the timeless intermediate. COSMOS, concerns the historical times, focusing on the relations and the interactions between Mediterranean cultures.

The new archaeological museum -within today’s globalized reality- seeks to express its identity through the elements that gave birth to the Cypriot civilization, not only the materials, but also the characteristics of the Mediterranean life and culture that are still alive in the everyday life of the locus. It aims to be a cultural installation that would nurture new environments and behaviors, and act as a revitalizing gesture to the city.

Medical School, University of Cyprus

The design of an educational building, inlay on a gradually urbanized campus and a touching landscape, was based on the idea of Intermediate space. The opening of a middle riverbed of communication reorganized the transitional relationships of closed and open space, work and interface, flow and respite, dilating the strict functional program and forming within the internal environment of the school “landscapes of outside”, finally determining its identity. The ideas of Active landscape, Open public building and Educational environment as an Ecosystem of creativity and socialization, reinterpret the established stereotypical dipoles of building – nature, inside – outside, public – private, local – international and investigate spatially and conceptually the margins of a contemporary and strictly functional building in the Mediterranean climate and way of life.

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cyprus

The idea.

The concept is based on the synthesis of space as “intermedio” between
How the exceptional natural environment will not remain simply the “background” of the building, but will acquire a vibrant relationship with it, determining its genesis.
The concept of a modern university (education, socialization and mobility of knowledge and ideas) and the concept of an open spatial structure, performing educative by itself.
How the creation of common, public spaces of distribution and meeting, can be the starting element of bioclimatic design.
How the “minimization” of the energy footprint of a modern, composite building, can concurrently improve its social efficiency and its correlation with the locus and the way of life.

The design.

The creation of a middle, “void” space, between the organized, overlaying building and the “born from landscape”, sculpted base, allowed:
The substantive and functional link between the two reference areas of the building, (Pedestrian/Social pole NW – Sports pole SE).
The unhindered viewing and experiencing of the landscape.
The articulation of an internal “neighborhood”, which enriches the urbanity of the University and creates the inner environment of the schools.
The composition of public spaces with two importing squares, and a central road – plaza, where extrude the classrooms, as the social “riverbed” of the building.
A sequence of outdoor and semi-outdoor areas (atriums, galleries, bridges) permitting a variety of alternative movements and accesses.
Recourses economy, as the complex, from its own design and without excess of technological means, operates bioclimatic.
Exploitation of the benefits of climate, landscape and a way of living experiential and self-evident in everyday life and the historical depth of the specific locus.

New Office Building of Cooperative Central Bank of Cyprus

The project aims to a sustainable building with a dual nature. On the one hand, a building, as a landmark in the urban fabric, which will incorporate a coherent organizational structure. On the other hand, a pluralistic building, open to the environment, that will actively participate in everyday institutional, economic as well as cultural activities of the city. At the same time, the general philosophy of design embraces the idea, that working spaces do not just accommodate human activity, but also aim to create an “ecosystem”, enriched with alternative uses and experiences, trying to reconsider the notion of a working space and to combine it with​​ creativity and communication.

Therefore, there is the need for a complex structure that would ensure a variety of alternating and collaborative spaces and that would expand and enrich the internal environment as well as the external environment of the city.

Recreation Park and Rural Heritage Museum in Eptagonia, Cyprus

The aim of the competition was the creation of a vivid regional center – a reference point. It concerns a general scenario in order to connect the site with the immediate environment (local scale) as well as with the surrounding villages and the wider Limassol province (ultra-local scale).

We are asked to upgrade and reorganize the existing building (an existing cultural center and restaurant facilities) at the top of the hill and to form a single, multifunctional leisure park in the field, which will include open spaces for multiple events, an agricultural heritage museum, a community library site and a priest’s home.

An important parameter of the design and the programming scenario is the variability and interchangeability of the space, which aims to offer the user multiple ways of habitation and coexistence.

Cultural Center and Supporting Facilities of the Starting Place of the Classic Marathon Route

The Cultural Centre is located within the site of Classic Marathon Race Starting Place, at the eastern end, near the adjacent stream. Primary requirement of the design proposal was to follow the mildness and simplicity of built environment. This led in search of a low building that emerges from the ground, without outbreaks, in the spirit of the existing linear axes and configurations.
In practice, the claim for “absence of form” has led to an elemental idea of a “non-building”, a pergola. The structural syntax of the building is based on four long submerged walls – a kind of bearing walls embedded on earth – connected by a transparent grid, which is interrupted frequently by planted atriums. The alignments of walls define three zones–aisles, “positive vacuums” within which are born the overground and underground areas of functions, creating an introverted space with intensive views, illuminated from above.
In the first, broader zone, that houses cultural activities, soil is gradually lowering to implement the internal volume, with the large enclosed spaces “nesting” on earth. While the two narrower zones, which house the offices in a rhythmic structural sequence, incorporate the planted patios that allow natural light and greenery to infiltrate the body of the building. Thus, gradually, the interior of the building describes a “landscape of out”, offspring of an open and semi-open space architecture that is experiential and obvious in everyday life and the historical depth of the locus.
Finally, the proposal that was initiated by the need to seek the “genius loci” was led through the gradual abstraction, on most archetypal and diachronic issues, such as the cooperation between architecture, nature and the natural elements. To the necessary, the primary, the light, the transparency, the shadow, the alterations that measure time, issues that are timeless and non-place.
The building due to its design principles acquires an energy efficiency benefit, which is enriched by targeted technical solutions in response to the concept of sustainability.

Starting Place of Classical Marathon Race

Athens Classic Marathon is an important historical institution with great participation of athletes from all over the world who come to run the Classic Marathon Race, (on average 20,000).

The project required the spatial, urban and landscape design of a 58.000sqm site. It is a complex of open-spaces and buildings, with open, public character to be used for the starting of the Marathon Race, but also as a place of sport, culture and leisure activities for the surrounding communities.

Τhe facilitation of different number and kind of users, the accommodation of various and alternative movements, the need of concomitance of diversiform functions and activities with overlapped significances (ceremonial, quotidian, instant or diachronic), led to the configuration of 3 integrated spatial and functional areas that cooperate and constitute the whole layout:

The Stadium that “receives” the slope of the mount with canted levels and terraces (with visibility to the starting line area) incorporates race-course, football field and auxiliary facilities.

The Sunken piazza of Athletic facilities, a smaller vibrant area with: Gymnasium, Lock Rooms, offices of local clubs, Press and Vip Building.

The Starting Line Area, that begins with the Call-Room Building and the Starting Line, and extends across the axis of the Marathon Route creating a double Square on both sides. A natural “theatre”, of extensive sizes and perspective axis, which is accommodating the massive track of the athletes, peak at the linear Sculptural Composition and it is delimited from the artificial slope on the side of the stream and the town.

Materials:
Colored concrete (precast or in site) with carven or sandblasted finishing, colored concrete and marble floors (with waterblasting treatment), steel frames and structures.