'A transition in time, in space and memory': Architect behind Cyprus' national archaeology museum reveals design concept | attractionsmanagement.com news
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'A transition in time, in space and memory': Architect behind Cyprus' national archaeology museum reveals design concept
POSTED 11 Jan 2018 . BY Kim Megson
The design concept is to create a museum that, when visited and experienced, evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory
– Theoni Xanthi, XZA Architects
Architect Theoni Xanthi has told CLADglobal how her team's vision for the national archaeology museum in Cyprus was inspired by “the materials that gave birth to Cypriot and Mediterranean culture”.

The partner at Greek studio XZA Architects is leading the design of New Cyprus Museum – a project the firm won the project in a two-stage international competition held last year.

Housing the nation’s treasures, the €49m (US$58.7m, £43.6m) building will replace the country’s current archaeological institution in Nicosia, which was established in the late 1800s and now lacks enough space to house the museum’s growing collection of antiquities.

Three raised white-stone volumes resting above clear glass boxes will be constructed on the riverside site, currently occupied by the closed and soon-to-be relocated Nicosia General Hospital. Each structure will house permanent and temporary galleries dedicated, consecutively, to the conceptual and museological themes of ‘Topos, Cosmos and Sea’.

A terraced garden with trees and waterways will surround the building and an open-air atrium will be created around a sunken public plaza that can host outdoor performances.

According to Xanthi, “pure light, deep relieving shadows, open horizons and a strong relationship between the landscape and the built environment” will be created in the public areas to evoke the squares, atriums and promenades where the people of Cyprus traditionally gathered, socialised and built their culture.

“The design concept is to create a museum that, when visited and experienced, evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory,” she said. “The building will be much more than a stylistic exercise or an architectural statement.

"We want to create a new environment for the archaeological finds that will be exhibited here. They will emerge in light after their long stay in darkness and oblivion.

“Our feeling that the historical and cultural past is a symbolic weight – a meteoric cloud hovering above every place – has inspired us to raise the exhibition volumes from the ground in order to free the open space and let the living city pass through below.

“The intention is to create a cultural building that refers both to the past and the everyday life of the city.”

The two-year construction period will begin this year, with the first phase including galleries, administration offices, storage areas for antiquities and food, beverage and retail facilities.

A library, auditorium and underground parking will follow in the second phase.

XZA Architects have previously been shortlisted in design competitions for a Recreation Park and Rural Heritage Museum in Eptagonia, Cyprus and a Museum for the Promotion of the ancient Greek city of Argos.
Archaeological relics will be stored and exhibited within the museum's three free-plan volumes Credit: XZA Architects
People will be able to gather and socialise beneath the raised volumes of the museum Credit: XZA Architects
Construction is scheduled to begin later this year Credit: XZA Architects
Three raised white-stone volumes resting above clear glass boxes will be constructed on the riverside site Credit: XZA Architects
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'A transition in time, in space and memory': Architect behind Cyprus' national archaeology museum reveals design concept
POSTED 11 Jan 2018 . BY Kim Megson
The design concept is to create a museum that, when visited and experienced, evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory
– Theoni Xanthi, XZA Architects
Architect Theoni Xanthi has told CLADglobal how her team's vision for the national archaeology museum in Cyprus was inspired by “the materials that gave birth to Cypriot and Mediterranean culture”.

The partner at Greek studio XZA Architects is leading the design of New Cyprus Museum – a project the firm won the project in a two-stage international competition held last year.

Housing the nation’s treasures, the €49m (US$58.7m, £43.6m) building will replace the country’s current archaeological institution in Nicosia, which was established in the late 1800s and now lacks enough space to house the museum’s growing collection of antiquities.

Three raised white-stone volumes resting above clear glass boxes will be constructed on the riverside site, currently occupied by the closed and soon-to-be relocated Nicosia General Hospital. Each structure will house permanent and temporary galleries dedicated, consecutively, to the conceptual and museological themes of ‘Topos, Cosmos and Sea’.

A terraced garden with trees and waterways will surround the building and an open-air atrium will be created around a sunken public plaza that can host outdoor performances.

According to Xanthi, “pure light, deep relieving shadows, open horizons and a strong relationship between the landscape and the built environment” will be created in the public areas to evoke the squares, atriums and promenades where the people of Cyprus traditionally gathered, socialised and built their culture.

“The design concept is to create a museum that, when visited and experienced, evokes a transition in time, in space, in memory,” she said. “The building will be much more than a stylistic exercise or an architectural statement.

"We want to create a new environment for the archaeological finds that will be exhibited here. They will emerge in light after their long stay in darkness and oblivion.

“Our feeling that the historical and cultural past is a symbolic weight – a meteoric cloud hovering above every place – has inspired us to raise the exhibition volumes from the ground in order to free the open space and let the living city pass through below.

“The intention is to create a cultural building that refers both to the past and the everyday life of the city.”

The two-year construction period will begin this year, with the first phase including galleries, administration offices, storage areas for antiquities and food, beverage and retail facilities.

A library, auditorium and underground parking will follow in the second phase.

XZA Architects have previously been shortlisted in design competitions for a Recreation Park and Rural Heritage Museum in Eptagonia, Cyprus and a Museum for the Promotion of the ancient Greek city of Argos.
Archaeological relics will be stored and exhibited within the museum's three free-plan volumes Credit: XZA Architects
People will be able to gather and socialise beneath the raised volumes of the museum Credit: XZA Architects
Construction is scheduled to begin later this year Credit: XZA Architects
Three raised white-stone volumes resting above clear glass boxes will be constructed on the riverside site Credit: XZA Architects
RELATED STORIES
Winning design revealed for Cyprus archaeology museum


Greek architect Theoni Xanthi has won an international design competition for a new archaeology museum in Cyprus, which will house the nation’s treasures.
MORE NEWS
EAS 2018: Expert urges education initiatives for theme park engagement
Andreas Theve, park historian at the popular Grona Lund theme park in Stockholm, has urged theme park operators to adopt edutainment offerings into their annual calendar, using the Swedish park to demonstrate the success such a scheme can have for an attraction.
EAS 2018: Dutch politician Mona Keijzer opens Euro Attractions Show
Mona Keijzer, state of secretary for the Department of Economic Affairs in the Netherlands, was on hand for the launch of this year's European Attractions Show (EAS) - the largest in the event's history.
Kidzania’s Kidpreneur 2018 to take place in London in October
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Education Assistant (Grove Theatre)
Stevenage Leisure Limited
Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
Job location: Dunstable, UK
Technician - Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage
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Salary: Competitive Salary & Benefits
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ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2018

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