Elefteria Square wins Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

Eleftheria Square in Nicosia, Cyprus, is one of three
projects by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) named winner of the Rethinking The
Future (RTF) Awards 2022.

Rethinking The Future Awards is an annual architecture award
program which aims to promote outstanding work in the field of Architecture and
Design across the world.

Establishing Eleftheria Square as the city’s main gathering space, ZHA’s design creates new connections intended to unite a divided capital. Nicosia’s massive Venetian fortifications separate the old city from its modern districts, while the city’s ‘Green Line’ divides the capital into two disparate communities.

Eleftheria Square is adjacent to the city’s Venetian Walls
and the dry moat that encircles Nicosia. Constructed in the Middle Ages and
extensively rebuilt by the Venetians in the 16th century, these substantial
defensive walls define the boundary of the oldest part of the capital, dividing
the ancient city from the new districts outside the walls.

ZHA envisioned Eleftheira Square as the initial phase of a
larger urban plan that could be a catalyst for the reunification of the
capital. The design ensures unobstructed views of the Venetian Walls,
establishing these fortifications as an integral part of Nicosia’s identity,
while also transforming previously inaccessible areas of the moat with new
civic plazas and gardens. ZHA proposes these new public spaces within the moat
are extended to follow the ancient city walls and encircle Nicosia,
reconnecting communities of this divided capital.

The upper level bridge meets the surrounding streetscape,
connecting with the city’s urban fabric and defining a new public square in the
heart of the capital. The bridge and its supporting columns are crafted in
concrete, their sculptural forms ensure structural integrity in this seismic
region while the base of each column morphs into seating. The renovation of the
square involved extensive archaeological excavations together with works to
repair protect the historic Venetian Walls. New stairs and elevators directly
connect with the bus terminal in Solomos Square.

Source: zaha hadid

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