Derynia City Hall Competition - Distinction

Location : Derynia, Cyprus
Building type : Institutional
Size    : 2000 s.m.
Schedule     : Spring 2009

The integration into the urban fabric of the city, views of the more distant landscape which include Famagusta and the Mediterranean sea, and the topography of the site were central elements in the conception and development of the new Derinia city hall. The project is organized in two main levels which respond to the natural slope of the site and engage the topography in a dialogue to produce a building that functionally and formally responds to the challenges of the program and place. The orientation and organization of the different elements of the program is determined by environmental factors, the interpretation of the different boundaries of the site and how these relate to the surrounding infrastructure, and the continuance of public space within the site and program of the city hall. All these elements have been instrumental in the development of a solution where the cultural and administrative remain unique but are also integrated in a continuous whole that offers multiple experiences and alternating visual connections with the site and surrounding landscape.

The city hall appears east of the city with the formally independent administration building raised and oriented on the west of the plot parallel to the street. The vertical supports of the building help define the boundary of the constructed space, allowing a visual connection between the public street and the enclosed yard which also functions as an entry to the theater space. The public green space which penetrates the plot from the west is framed in the east with the ground floor offices of the cultural services. The roof of this wing is used as a ramp, which extends to the north of the site and functions as a public connection between the two main levels and functions of the city hall, the cultural and administrative services. As a result the enclosed courtyard and the ramp become an extension of the urban fabric offering the experience of a continuous movement within and around the constructed space.

The arrangement of the service areas of the administration extend along the public edge of the site with a southwest entrance directly from the street. This allows their independent operation within the city hall complex. The horizontal circulation runs along the east elevation allowing views into the courtyard and beyond through the glass partitions and the perforated movable vertical sunshades which wrap around the building on the east and west facades.

The theater and performance space becomes the central organizing element of the lower floor. Clad in red metal panels it is visually identifiable from the enclosed yard. The tower of the stage helps to define the south boundary of city hall and also frame the public entrance on the upper level from the street.

In collaboration w/ Marios Phokas and Demetris Economides