New Cyprus Museum Competition


Nicosia – Cyprus

Competition Entry
Program: Museum Curation and Cultural Centre, Masterplan
Gross Building Area: 17,560 m²
Year: 2017


We developed this project as an entry for the New Cyprus Archaeological Museum. The masterplan is laid out to create a dialogue with its surrounding and between its individual components. The design of the masterplan is inspired by architectural history and draws reference from examples of successful architectural highlights from the more recent past. Looking at drawings by Piranesi as well as OMA’s and Louis Kahn’s concepts the overall approach to the masterplan explores the relationship between different buildings, objects and zones within a strategic composition.

Creating a field of objects which can be read in many different and exciting ways instead of one singular icon allows for great adaptability at any stage. At any point a new building could be introduced into the masterplan and sit comfortably in juxtaposition with all other elements. Our design does not take a singular or systematic approach to the site layout, but rather understands it as a composition of distinct elements which work in dialogue. Buildings punctuate the site to create a memorable experience and to guide the visitor. This quality also makes the space adaptable to future development in the event that the cultural centre or the museum require expansion.

It is a conscious decision to keep the museum visually and spatially open to create a network of spaces and squares with a sequence between outdoor and indoor areas. The design offers a seamless transition between the arrival outside and the internal entrance lobby of the museum, where the entrance will be clearly framed by an entry arch. The proposed architecture and coloured surfaces to designated gallery themes will enhance navigation by allowing visitors to be aware of where they are located both within the context of the exhibition materiality and the building space as a whole.

The curatorial approach treats the museum collection as a field of objects offering a complete perspective on the history of Cyprus. Rather than presenting a timeline, we let the objects and their physical characteristics unveil different narratives. The collection is structured as a matrix that shows the intersections between historical periods and their material manifestations. Strands of materiality occupy the different halls which respond to the particular viewing conditions of the objects they host. The scale of the objects informs the size and degree of porosity of the halls, ranging from broad and sunny in the ceramic hall to intimate and enclosed in the gold hall. The halls are crossed by bands of different floor treatment which allow for the delineation of the historical periods, allowing the visitor to follow timelines, material strands or a combination of both.


Find out more about our Collaborators:

     Movement Strategies helped us to develop the visitor movement across the site and the surrounding city.

     RISE helped us optimise the cost plan.

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