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Project awarded an honorable mention by the jury

Context

The project takes advantage of the orographic context of the site and its descending slope in a North-South direction.

The main entrance is situated at the level of the main pedestrian axis running East-West that structures the campus, the solution thus allows all users to benefit from a panoramic view towards the “horizon” and the open country to the south and the “landscaped background”.

Concept

The idea is thus to conceive a building from an initial compact volume which is carved out by “subtraction” of its central section so as to create a “cloister”, a landscaped court which can be at the same time a space for meeting, for contemplation, for meditation, for study…

The volume is also split horizontally into two blocks revealing a “covered open place” at street level, the “heart” of the new building, open simultaneously to the external landscape and onto the inner garden below.

This covered intermediate space has a triple function:

  • architectural : the space is conceived as a real « piece » of landscape implanted in the « heart » of the building. The place, treated as a water basin, becomes “magical” when approaching with the play of reflections and shadows multiplied on the polished stainless steel ceiling above.
  • functional : as the guiding « heart » of the building, this space enables users to easily orientate themselves and to access the different departments of the Medical School through the use of wooden walkways and small public “squares”.
  • technical : the water for the basin, taking source partly from winter rainwater storage and partly from recycled greywater obtained by Bio-Membrane Technology, is then fed onto the garden below and the system acts as water regulator for the site. The evaporating water contributes to creating a refreshing microclimate not only for the entrance areas but also to the floors below during the hot months.

Our response to the brief

The choice of four concentric floors served by an intermediate entrance “place” has the following advantages:

  • it gives an optimal distribution of the different components of the brief with clearly identified areas that favors good orientation for the users
  • it allows for reduced functional connections between the different departments

The structural system proposed, with clear spans between facades allows us to design open platforms free of internal columns thus allowing for maximum internal flexibility.

Similarly, the stairs and lifts as set out allow for maximum flexibility and the possibility of multiple configurations for teaching and laboratory spaces on each floor.

Image

The external “skin” of the building is made of a “mesh” of ultra-high performance white concrete (UHPC) Ductal® panels acting as sun screen and thermal regulators. Behind this perforated screen, an external membrane envelops entirely the outer facades, alternating opaque panels with double-glazed elements.

The perforated skin also wraps over the roof area providing shading but most importantly screening all technical plant. The idea is to translate on the skin of the “Medical School” the image of a living cellular organism such as can be perceived under the microscope.

This “mesh” has a double function:

  • by acting as a sun screen that reduces the effects of heat reverberation in front of the opaque parts
  • by acting as “brise-soleil” that controls sunlight and diffracts light in front of the glazed sections for optimal comfort
  • LOCATION : Nicosie - University of Cyprus
  • CLIENT  : University of Cyprus
  • DESIGN TEAM B+C Architects
  • BRIEF : construction of the Medical school Building facilities on Campus
  • AREA : 8 700 m2
  • TOTAL COST : 18.0M €

 

 

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