Samim Magriso, Derya Aguday, Frederik De Smedt
Nicosia is a unique city, located in the heart of Cyprus island and the uniqueness of the city is originated in its dual condition. The Turkish and Greek parts are divided by a neutral zone. Yet the North Nicosia is not a homogenous body itself. The expansion of the urban texture occurs horizontally, rather than in a stratified, superposed manner. Thus the design team challenges to create an unifying museum, that connects existing pattern of the city and new development areas with a continuous experience. The architectural language blends itself into the physical environment through visual continuity and extension of existing urban paths and manifests that it is possible to introduce new spatial experiences, whereas everyday habits are preserved and sustained.
Grew out of the traces of existing urban texture, the complex is dedicated to the memory of Rauf Denktaş, the founding President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The project consists of two simple landscape gestures, intended to symbolize certain notions and moments out of the collective memory of Northern Cypriots: A rift in the earth to contain the traumatic events in the history of Cyprus; the battles and losses. On the contrary, the ground pattern that folds itself into a new, erected topographical formation, represents hopes and dreams.
Three circulation paths are proposed for the visitors. The main axis, connecting the exhibition halls, workshop and museum, is designed for the memorial ceremonies and two alternative routes contain an open-air exhibition, a cafe and possible excursions to be discovered by the visitors, enabling different testimonies of an asymmetrical, non-linear space. Rather than becoming a static monument, or an architectural object; the folded landscape, that covers the functional spaces and paths, is aimed to interact with the rest of the city.