Architecture Competition, 2011
Incorporating the proposed market and parking lot into the existing urban fabric of the old city of Larnaca was critical in the conception of the proposed project. It was important that the user perceives and experiences the new market as a natural progression of the solids (buildings) and voids (streets, passages) of the area. This is achieved through the continuation of Nicolaou Rousou street and the creation of a semipublic pedestrian passage running east west and penetrating the proposed building through the ground floor and its upper levels.
The passage helps to programmatically organize functions within the market building, but also create a connection between the market square and the nearby sea front. Subsequently, placing functions left and right of the proposed passage helps to fill the building voids north and south of the pedestrian walkway. As a result the existing buildings at the junction of Nicolaou Rousou and Ifestou which interrupt the flow of the city, both visually and functionally, are integrated as part of a continuous city block, completing the gaps in the urban fabric.
The intervention and the passage continuing Nicolaou Rousou street not only reinforces the connection of the square with the coastline, but also successfully invites the passerby, besides the everyday customer/client for which the market is primarily intended for. The visual connection through the passage towards the square can help encourage the flow of pedestrians toward the open air market. This passage not only functions as an intermediate space leading to the square but also helps to continue the façade of shops along Ermou street towards the market. Consequently th e project helps to energize the proposed square and the market by encouraging the flow of pedestrian traffic through it. An open plaza is created that is well defined but also effectively connected to the surrounding neighborhoods and streets.
A second entrance into the market is located on the south façade and works as a north-south extension of Leontos Sofou street. Pedestrians approaching the market from Ayiou Lazarou square have the possibility to directly enter the market building and subsequently exit into the square or cross the bridge to the cafeterias and exhibition space on the first floor.
The intermediate passage/atrium that’s created between the market on the south boundary and the cafeteria/exhibition spaces on the north allows the city to penetrate the building both visually and functionally. It orients the user within the building, both horizontally and vertically by allowing visual connection between floors. It also relates the interior spaces to the surrounding context allowing a collective experience of square-building-city.
In collaboration w/ Demetris Economides