What was once a shoe factory in the industrial part of Engomi, Cyprus is now a bright and colorful academic building for the Architecture Research Center at the University of Nicosia. Designed by Petros Konstantinou and Yiorgos Hadjichristou Architects, the ARC features multi-functional space, sliding doors and a bright, naturally daylit interior - perfect conditions for the study of architecture. The building was re-skinned with colored polycarbonate panels which transmit a pleasant light inside. Completed in 2011 and still very new, the building will over time be covered in vegetation to provide additional shading.
The design for the new education building was largely determined by the needs of the architecture department, the restrictions of the existing structure, and the tight budget of the university. One of the biggest requirements for the new building was for flexible space and the interior is defined by a series of movable walls that slide open or closed depending on what kind of room is needed. A large multi-purpose space is surrounded by classrooms on either side and a large wide staircase leads up to the second floor. The staircase doubles as additional auditorium space for larger talks and conferences and the sliding doors help with acoustics and can be used by students to pin up their projects. If necessary, the ARC can be added on to and expand upwards, but for now, part of the roof is used as an outdoor space for relaxation or study. The soft-toned polycarbonate panels on the exterior filter natural daylight and combined with the high industrial ceilings provides optimum working conditions in the studios. From outside, the building is open, accessible and transparent, creating a connection with the surrounding community. Vegetation has been planted around the outside and over time, some of the plants will grow up and onto the structure to provide shading in certain areas. + Yiorgos Hadjichristou Architects Via ArchDaily Images ©Agisilaou & Spyrou