Eleftheria Square Competition – Third Prize

Location : Nicosia, Cyprus
Building type : Public
Size    : 2000 s.m.
Schedule     : Spring 2005

Our objective is the reinterpretation of the role of Eleftherias square in the contemporary urban landscape of Nicosia. This role, has been defined by history as central and pivotal in the lives of the people. Our intent is to reinforce this interpretation but also enrich its potential as a place that unites. Programmatically this can be interpreted in the unification of new and old city and also square and moat. The intent is to capitalize on its potential as a place to meet while maintaining its symbolic and historic identity.  Of further importance is the relationship of the square with its urban context and particularly towards the west where the new Archeological Museum, the Public garden, as well as with the region of the old GSP where the future Parliament and the new Theatre will be constructed.

The creation of a place that can attract an increasing number of visitors is of major importance. This would help stimulate the communal life of the area and therefore of the entire city centre. This could be encouraged using references from the historical experiences of the past that have come to define the place. These can include urban habits of the past as well as the social and political practices that defined the square throughout the years. National, political and cultural events or mass gatherings come to mind that have helped to define the relationship of the existing square with the nearby bastion.

The geometry of the proposed solution is a result of the anticipated natural flow of movement within the square and the axes that result from that, as well as the geometry of that characterizes the walled city, particularly as it’s expressed in the original and historical drawings and documents.

Superimposing the different pathways relative to the different levels of moat and street, we arrived at a proposal that responds to the need for an organic and functional connection between moat and square, and also between the walled and new Nicosia. The programmatic requirements and the natural and functional use of the square-moat are ensured in the most natural way. We sought discreet and dialectic relationships, references and connections with the historical past, avoiding the literal interpretation of the existing monuments while not ignoring their presence.

In collaboration with Zenon Sierepeklis