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Georgios Artopoulos

Georgios Artopoulos

Nicosia, CY

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Aerial view of the observatory of the park with 270o views of the landscape and the city.
Aerial view of the observatory of the park with 270o views of the landscape and the city.
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Urban Park of Environmental Education

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.

 
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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Nicosia, CY
My Role: Concept, Architectural Design, Representation
Additional Credits: Architectural design:
ECONOMOU, Architects & Engineers,
Artopoulos Giorgos
with
Metoxis Nikolas,
Skantzouris Nestoras
Engineering Consulting: Ktori Zaharias, SEISMIC TECH
Landscape design: Grevenaris Giorgos
Lighting design: Sevastides Dakis, ARCHTUBE
BUDGET: 4,000,000 euros

 
Aerial view of the park with circulation networks highlighted (fast route: colour red; slow route: colour yellow).
Aerial view of the park with circulation networks highlighted (fast route: colour red; slow route: colour yellow).
Plan of the observatory and elevation of the Centre of Environmental Information.
Plan of the observatory and elevation of the Centre of Environmental Information.
The Kakaristra gorge, a monument of the local natural ecosystem and its history, was a significant point of reference for the design concept of our proposal, due to its proximity to the park.
The Kakaristra gorge, a monument of the local natural ecosystem and its history, was a significant point of reference for the design concept of our proposal, due to its proximity to the park.
The south entrance of the park: on the left is the path to the slow route; right for the fast route that leads to the Centre of Environmental Information.
The south entrance of the park: on the left is the path to the slow route; right for the fast route that leads to the Centre of Environmental Information.
The main entrance of the Centre of Environmental Information.
The main entrance of the Centre of Environmental Information.
View of Pentadaktylos mountain from the observatory.
View of Pentadaktylos mountain from the observatory.
Circulation diagram of the Centre of Environmental Information.
Circulation diagram of the Centre of Environmental Information.
Plans of the ground floor (top) and first floor (bottom) of the Centre of Environmental Information.
Plans of the ground floor (top) and first floor (bottom) of the Centre of Environmental Information.
North section of the Centre of Environmental Information.
North section of the Centre of Environmental Information.
Elevation of the café-restaurant and section of the amphitheatre and the north car park.
Elevation of the café-restaurant and section of the amphitheatre and the north car park.
Exhibition space of the Centre of Environmental Information.
Exhibition space of the Centre of Environmental Information.
The design of the amphitheatre involved the combination of a system of ramps and the seating areas for flexibility in use.
The design of the amphitheatre involved the combination of a system of ramps and the seating areas for flexibility in use.
View of the amphitheatre from the roof of the café-restaurant.
View of the amphitheatre from the roof of the café-restaurant.
[Left] Plans of the café-restaurant and amphitheatre complex; [Right, from top to bottom counter-clockwise] plans of the main entrance of the amphitheatre, the café-restaurant, the auxiliary spaces of the theatre and the sound booth; [Bottom right] elevation of the complex of buildings.
[Left] Plans of the café-restaurant and amphitheatre complex; [Right, from top to bottom counter-clockwise] plans of the main entrance of the amphitheatre, the café-restaurant, the auxiliary spaces of the theatre and the sound booth; [Bottom right] elevation of the complex of buildings.
The amphitheatre.
The amphitheatre.
Aerial view of the park.
Aerial view of the park.

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