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Cyprus museum


The proposal of the new Cyprus Museum is based on the image of the Neolithic Khirokitia settlement situated in Cyprus. The settlement is an important landmark for Cypriot nation as well as for the rest of the world for its cultural significance. Furthermore, the archeological site has a strong identity with its monumental cylindrical volumes. This image of vernacular architecture was used as a reference for the new Museum design. It gives strong identity to the architecture of the new complex and creates significant links with the historic local heritage, which is particularly relevant in the case of Cyprus being one of the birthplaces of Western culture.

The site for the project is considered as a continuation of a Municipal gardens, which are situated to the north of the site. The blurred threshold between inside and outside where exterior space becomes interior creates an informal environment where visitors can feel relaxed and at ease. The open structure of the Museum has an advantage for the building orientation, having no front or back elevation. Therefore the visitors can access the site at different points and travel through along multiple directions.

At the intersection of two main city streets (Chelon Street and Tziabacharlal Nechrou Avenue) a square is created. The square is traditionally a place for public gathering and is also a transitional stop point between the new Cyprus Museum and the old one, which will be converted into the Byzantine and Medieval Museum.

The pavilion-type structure is meant to create the impression of a borderless complex. In fact, no boundary between inside and outside can be identified. The walls of the cylinders are thresholds between the separate functions of the Museum rather than external walls. Whether the circulation zones between these volumes are interior or exterior cannot be clearly defined. This conveys a feeling of openness where the visitors are always welcome.