April 3, 2007
by Canadian Architect
The Cyprus Cultural Foundation voted unanimously to accept the recommendation from the jury of its architectural competition to appoint Hopkins Architects of London to design the Cyprus Cultural Centre, a new performing arts centre in Nicosia. The practice was supported by the Nicosia-based architectural practice of Vardas + Patsalosavvis, engineers Over Arup & Partners, acoustician Kirkegaard Associates, and theatre consultant Carr and Angier. The Centre is scheduled to open in 2011.
The jury was unanimous in awarding the second place to Coop Himmelb(l)au of Vienna and third place to Joo Lus Carrilho da Graa (Lisbon). The other finalists in the anonymous second stage of the competition were:
Arts Team (London)
Foreign Office Architects (London)
Henning Larsen Tegnestue (Copenhagen)
Meleltitiki AN Tombazis and Associated Architects (Athens)
Rafael Violy Architects PC (London and New York)
The finalists were drawn from sixty valid entries to the competition submitted from 16 countries.
Hopkins Architects was founded in 1976 by Michael and Patty Hopkins. It now employs over 100 people at its London office and a further 30 people in Dubai. The practice has a wide portfolio of buildings, including many for the arts, which have won numerous architectural awards. It is internationally recognized for its work in sustainable design. It is currently working on three University projects in America at Yale, Princeton and Rice and has recently completed the Shin-Marunouchi building for Mitsubishi in Tokyo, due to be opened in April 2007. The Cyprus Cultural Centre competition team was led by Director, Andrew Barnett, who will continue the development of the project from the London office.
Commenting on the finalists, Michael Colocassides, chair of the jurors, said: My colleagues on the jury and I were thrilled at the eight winning entries and found the decision a difficult one. However, we were unanimous in choosing the Hopkins design for the intelligence, elegance and dynamic sensitivity of the plan. The design showed a sensitivity to the opportunities presented by the local climate in its openness and the use of interior courtyards and we were deeply impressed by the balanced consideration given to front and back of house areas. My colleagues on the jury were also impressed by the thought given to environmental sustainability in the design, which was well thought through and addressed the specific characteristics of the Cypriot environment, as emphasized in the brief.