Cyprus Cultural Center Competition Winning Entry Hopkins Architects
          Posted by Mario Cipresso

        • On March 19, 2007 in Nicosia, the Cyprus Cultural Foundation announced that its board voted unanimously to accept the recommendation from the jury of its architectural competition to appoint Hopkins Architects of London to design the Cyprus Cultural Centre, a new performing arts centre in Nicosia. The practice was supported by the Nicosia-based architectural practice of Vardas + Patsalosavvis, engineers Over Arup & Partners, acoustician Kirkegaard Associates, and theatre consultant Carr and Angier. The Centre is scheduled to open in 2011.

          The jury was unanimous in awarding the second place to Coop Himmelb(l)au of Vienna and third place to João Luís Carrilho da Graça (Lisbon). The other finalists in the anonymous second stage of the competition were: Arts Team, Foreign Office Architects, Henning Larsen Tegnestue, Meleltitiki - AN Tombazis and Associated Architects and Rafael Viñoly Architects. The finalists were drawn from sixty valid entries to the competition submitted from sixteen countries.

          According to the competition brief, the main purpose of the project is to establish a centre for performing arts, in particular symphonic and chamber music, and as appropriate, dance, opera and musical theatre, scaled to the needs of a growing, and increasingly discerning, regional audience and the growing market for cultural tourism. The building will also play a strong role in the Capital's civic and educational life.

          The second principal objective of the project is to help to establish a new, lively, attractive and warmly regarded civic space, a new focal point for urban life. The design of the building and related exterior spaces must therefore have those qualities which will give expression to these objectives and encourage them by symbiosis with its broader surroundings. The building will be open and welcoming in character. The design of the public spaces will establish a sense of permeability and encourage a high level of activity within its environs.

          Hopkins Architects design response started with an urban strategy that places the new facilities in the heart of a new Cultural Quarter.

          1. It provides a significant Civic Square and outdoor performance space that links the proposed House of Representatives, Cyprus Cultural Centre and National Gallery whilst also extending the nearby Pediaeos River Linear Park into the site.

          2. 3 main performance spaces are provided within a volume linked to a generous foyer space facing on to the new Civic Square consisting of a 1,400 seat Main Concert Theatre, a 500 seat Recital Hall as well as a Rehearsal Hall that can also be used for public performances.

          3. The performance spaces themselves are expressed as individual but complex elements in the architectural composition, clearly visible from the foyer spaces, separable from the foyer when required but directly accessible when needed.

          4. Multiple internal spaces and courtyards are also provided as part of the overall plan for pre-performance activities and exhibitions as well as other support spaces including VIP/Education/Box Office/Galleries/Shops and Restaurants.

          Hopkins Architects was founded in 1976 by Michael and Patty Hopkins. It now employs over 100 people at its London office and a further 30 people in Dubai. The practice has a wide portfolio of buildings, including many for the Arts, which have won numerous architectural awards. It is internationally recognized for its work in sustainable design. It is currently working on three University projects in America at Yale, Princeton and Rice and has recently completed the Shin-Marunouchi building for Mitsubishi in Tokyo, due to be opened in April 2007.

          Images courtesy of Hopkins Architects.

        03.22.07 like the website! good job! / anonymous
        03.27.07 What a totally uninteresting project, that Cultural center on Cyprus by Hopkins. It's a petty that the client don't have more fantasy... / anonymous
        03.27.07 Have the other entries been published? / anonymous
        03.27.07 The other entries were not yet available for publication. / Mario
        03.28.07 Totally agree.... that project looks very dull...it seems to lack any kind of significance / anonymous
        03.28.07 Yes i´m afraid to say that i most agree too. It looks like something from the last millenium. so 80´s... Lack of vision. / anonymous
        03.28.07 Aesthetics can be argued endlessly since they're subjective. The entry may have been the best solution to the problem, we don't know what the other architects presented yet. / Mario
        04.05.07 There seems to be a sense of generosity given to the space & clarity in program layout which, depending on the vision of the jury, sometimes play a larger role than aesthetic inventiveness, esp. in cultural institute which serves a large population. / i
        04.28.07 I agree with Mario, a thing that can be good for us it doesn´t mean that has to be good for others, especially in relation to aesthetics and specific architectural values / guachimingo
        10.31.07 if you go onto the coop himmelb(l)au webste u will see thier entry. Their design would have bought some good symbolic architecture to cyprus, espeially since it will be such a significat building / anonymous
        12.03.07 very cheap cyprus deserves much more / anonymous
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