'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
Paris attractions closed this Saturday amid fears of renewed protester violence
World-famous attractions the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are among museums and tourist sites in Paris that will be closed on Saturday this weekend - a decision made by French authorities fearing a recurrence of last week’s violence in the city.
UNStudio reveal 'mammoth' theatre complex in Hong Kong
Dutch architecture practice UNStudio have unveiled renderings for the Lyric Theatre Complex – an expansive cultural venue currently being constructed in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District.
UK government to appoint heritage disability champion
The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is recruiting a new dedicated countryside and heritage disability champion who will focus on improving disabled access to the various heritage sites around the UK.
Waterpark by day and stage by night, as new details revealed for Cirque Du Soleil waterpark
New renderings for a series of Cirque du Soleil-themed waterparks have been unveiled by waterpark developer WhiteWater West, showing designs that take spectacle and immersion to the next level.
+ More news   
LATEST JOBS
Team Leader
West Cheshire Museums
Salary: £23,111 - £26,470 Pro Rata per annum
Job location: Marston, Northwich, UK
Head of Technical Operations
Eleven Arches
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Bishop Auckland, UK
Visitor Services Officer (Seasonal)
Forestry Commission
Salary: £19,995 - £21,175 per annum
Job location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Visitor Services Officer
Forestry Commission
Salary: £19,995 - £21,175 per annum
Job location: Buckinghamshire, UK
Sales Manager
Hoburne Ltd
Salary: Competitive Salary and Benefits
Job location: Cotswold, UK
Technician
Eleven Arches
Salary: Competitive
Job location: Bishop Auckland, UK
+ More jobs  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

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

©Cybertrek 2018

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