Cyprus Cultural Center, Nicosia, Cyprus (2007)
Wolf D. Prix/COOP HIMMELB(L)AU
Our proposal for the Cyprus Cultural Center is focused on the opening of the Foyers as public space, and the extension of this space over the area of the Public Plaza.
The Plaza itself is transformed into the Foyer, the Foyer likewise into the Plaza.
This Open Public Space of simultaneity creates a lively, urban condition fusing the cultural programs of Music, Theater, Art and Education and the Civic programs of the Parliament with the flows of everyday urban living.
A new center of urban life in Nicosia is formed as the Cultural Center of Cyprus is created.
The design of the Cyprus Cultural Center supports its role in the urban symbiosis of the site by creating a recognizable architectural landmark on the Plaza situated within the existing geometry of buildings, open spaces and streets.
A tension field is established through the axial and solid-void relationship of the new building volume and the existing U-Shaped colonial building of the future National Gallery to the North, charging the Urban Plaza with potential and defining a clear public space.
The new building volume of the Cyprus Cultural Center is further shaped in orientation to the two geometries of the site. The mass is sheared into two blocks corresponding to the two major halls of the program, creating a void, which opens the cultural programs of the new building into the Urban Plaza. Together with the future Parliament building across Demosthenis Severis Avenue, three sides of the Plaza are formed.
To the west of the Plaza, a vast and shaded landscape creates a contrasting atmosphere and defines through natural elements, the fourth side of the open public space. Existing old-growth Eucalyptus are maintained in this area of shaded paths and recreational green-space that is seen as an extension of the linear River Park to the West of the site area.
The Urban Plaza formed by these building, landscape and program elements is seen as a flexible hardscape surface for daily public use and for outdoor events. A moveable stage which parks against the Main Concert Hall Foyer façade, can be moved to positions on the Plaza to create different event scenarios for various sized audiences and situations.