Responding to Nicosia citizens’ lack of knowledge regarding the history of the local ecosystem, we inquired for spatial practices that would “unearth” the geological richness of the area. In particular, the nearby gorge of Kakaristra is a unique natural monument of the area and a significant resource of the city that can be employed for educating the public. The gorge is a cut in the surface of the earth that reveals the conditions of morphogenesis of the three morpho-geological belts meeting at the larger region (Nicosia’s, Athalassas’s and Kakaristra’s). This gorge is considered to be a “key hole” through which one can read the history of the local ecosystem (with the collections of shellfish fossils found on site attesting to the changes in the degree of salinity that occurred during the emergence of the island from the sea) and learn for its future development. This “archive” of historical moments of the local ecosystem can become a source of knowledge accessible to all. At the same time, instead of trying to compete with the richness, complexity and beauty of the geological “archive” of the nearby gorge, we aimed for the creation of a place that will introduce a dialectic relation with the “original”. Therefore our “envisioned nature” understands the ground of the site as a palimpsest and, through the choreography of the diagrams of movement and the orchestration of the activities performed, stages the initiation process of its users in the conditions and characteristics of the local ecosystem.
The design process involved the exploration of computational techniques for the application of the concept of complex interactions of generative dynamic systems in the spatial organization of the park, in response to our ecological framework. This symbiotic condition characterizes every interaction between the autonomous agents of ecosystems and thus it describes the operation of open systems that self-organize. We propose that when this logic of symbiosis augments people’s current understanding of ecology, it will contribute to the holistic development of the contemporary city. Without trying to automate the creative process and normalize the irregularities of the architectural design, we experimented with a set of algorithmic operations to design circulation paths and the infrastructure of the park. The results of these operations were studied as guidelines and used for inspiration during the development of the project. These generative techniques allowed us to observe particular interactions of the design parameters which would have been hidden otherwise in the complexity of the design process.
Status: Competition Entry
Location: Nicosia, CY
My Role: Concept, Architectural Design, Representation
Additional Credits: Architectural design:
ECONOMOU, Architects & Engineers,
Engineering Consulting: Ktori Zaharias, SEISMIC TECH
Landscape design: Grevenaris Giorgos
Lighting design: Sevastides Dakis, ARCHTUBE
BUDGET: 4,000,000 euros