Eleftheria Square finalist for ArchDaily Building of the Year 2022

Eleftheria Square in Cyprus has been chosen as one of five
finalists for ArchDaily’s Building of the Year Award (BOTY), in the Public
& Landscape Architecture category.

Establishing the 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.

The ArchDaily BOTY platform is now open until February 17th,
for readers to select the winner of each category.

Vote
for Eleftheria Square here

Source: zaha hadid

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