The study area is situated between two major public green areas of Nicosia, the Pedieos River to the west and the Municipal Garden to the north. The extensive natural vegetation of protected zone of Pedieos River and the designed vegetation of Municipal Garden, inserts from the west and north into the public space of the New Museum and even into the building itself. The public space intersects building’s volume in a way squares and passes are being created. Main exhibition areas and store rooms placed under-neath while at the same time the rest museum functions shape open public spaces. The building itself embodies the public space and is being transformed into a hybrid.
The design concept is to create a spatial experience simulating the discovery of antiquities into their natural terrain. A gradual descent within the ground corresponds to an ongoing archaeological excavation. Also, the building is organized on the basis of a synthetic grid similar to the one that is used on the the archaeological excavations. The New Museum’s goal is to host and conserve a large number of antiquities of which only a small part can be exhibited. We propose exhibition halls as an essential extension of the storage areas that surround them, making each exhibition “flesh from flesh” of the museum ‘s depository. The Main Entrance of the New Cyprus Museum is placed on the eastern side of the plot, at the end of a slightly sloping public square. At the first volume, lays the ticket office and the information desk. In order to enter the main exhibition, a gradually descent route leads to three separate exhibition halls where the main exhibition unfolds. Both routes lead to the discovery of a large exhibition hall, the “Garden of Statues”, bathed in natural northern light where the surrounding nature intrudes indoor. Continuing, the visitor is moving upwards to the last exhibition hall and finally through the gift shop and a small cafeteria to the entrance hall.
The ground floor is landscaped; creating a large public space mixed with the museum areas. At the ground floor, entrances to the building’s other uses are placed. The museum’s administration offices, the department of antiquities, the library, the conference hall, the restaurant and the educational areas, have private entrances that allow them to operate separately. As well a linear private route, at the first level, accessible only by museum’s personnel, is connecting the Main Entrance with these museum’s spaces. This linear path is crossed by vertical service lifts that connect all the levels of the museum. All entrances are placed around a main public square accessible from the surrounding areas with views to the inside of the exhibition. Most part of these public areas is covered by a permeability canopy, which protects from the direct sunlight creating a microclimate.
Status: Competition / Project Architect: Dimitris Thomopoulos / Design Team: Mina Roussou, Marianna Lizardou, Katerina Bali, Despoina Kyriakou / Collaborators phase B: Chrysokona Mavrou, Panagiotis Tsogkas
Collaborator Architect: Ioannis Ventourakis, (BETAPLAN S.A.)
Museologist: Dr. Marlen Mouliou (University of Athens) / Structural: Nikos Tzourovits (OMETE S.A.) / Mechanical: Dimitris Kirimlidis (LDK S.A.) / Landscape: Thomas Doxiadis, Terpsy Kremaly (doxiadis+) / 3d rendering: Konstantinos Koudounis / Year: 2017