- Cyprus : Schulz calls for ‘spirit of solidarity’ towards Cyprus as...
- our view : Our View: Both AKEL and DISY guilty of double standards when it...
- Charilaos Stavrakis : Ministry official points the finger at Stavrakis
- Central Bank : Central Bank sees 'substantial' risks to economy
- bank of cyprus : New CEO for BoC imminent
- Cyprus : Limassol marina receives first yachts
- Cyprus : Staff strike at Sigma and Hard Rock cafe
- British experts : Reform of public service underway
- aristo developers : ‘State will gain millions in taxes from sale of Venus Rock’
- arrests : Authorities suspect fishy goings on at crossing points
The future is vertical
A number of building projects across Nicosia look set to transform the capital’s skyline, says NAOMI LEACH
The noise of change is hard to ignore. The frenetic pulse of the capital beats louder these days. Weaving through the old city, the scaffolding, broken paths and cordoned off streets make familiar routes unreachable. Outside the centre of Nicosia, the bones of unfinished structures stretch towards the sky. Dusty teams of workmen gather each day, a metallic orchestra of drills, diggers and hammers busily setting the soundtrack to a city on the rise.
Perhaps it’s the EU Presidency which falls upon Cyprus from today that has highlighted the noticeable number of improvements to residents and observers. Or even Nicosia’s bid for European Capital of Culture 2017 which has triggered a local pride and an interest in making the soulful, historic city more attractive and modern. Slick, glass skyscrapers that wouldn’t be out of place in London or New York are planned to transform the capital’s skyline in the coming months and years.
Communications Officer at Nicosia Municipality, Makis Nicolaides suggests the extensive building plans which are at varying stages of completion, are just a part of the municipality’s on-going long term strategy for improving the city.
“Nicosia’s construction is not for foreigners or for some periodical Cyprus visitors. It’s not like Paphos that the English come to. The local plan of high rise buildings is for the Central Business District, a place that has commerce, banks and related companies near to the government because they make their work easier.
“Nicosia’s construction companies are [creating these building projects] for local people and for companies. It is for the economical function of the city and the island, that’s why we have a lot of interest. We want to promote the economy of the city, to upgrade all the time,” he explains.
In the municipality’s plans, the future of urban space in Nicosia is vertical. But there is still an emphasis on squares, green spaces, pedestrian traffic and parking spaces for public use. Attracting residential units and office facilities is also considered important for the economy in the central urban areas of the city. The centre is defined as Griva Digenis, Spyros Kyprianou, Digenis Akritas to Palouriotissa and the city centre. Part of the walled city (pedestrian Ledra - Onasagorou and lanes) are also included in the urban centre of the Local Plan.
The new Local Plan will locate the tallest buildings in the downtown urban cluster with a gradual decrease in height towards the edge of the city. In the historic core of the city and surrounding areas there are restrictions regarding the height of the buildings, which aims at preserving the special character of these areas. With the exception of the historical centre and other areas of special character there are no limitations on architectural style. The municipality is open to free architectural expression.
The Planning Authority has offered incentives for landlords in key areas and outlined new rules regarding usable surface area of a plot. Renewable energy opportunities have also been incorporated into these plans.
The Planning Authority says that while Nicosia is the city on the island which does not have the sea and tourism and also has the division it does play an important historic role. As the centre for administrative, cultural and commercial activities, they are keen to make it look like a city of prestige and importance.
Building projects of Nicosia
* In recent months, there has been an on-going study of an ambitious project on the highway of Salamis. The owners have not reached a final decision on the various possibilities of the project and the uses it will have.
* The Santa Roza Tower will be built on Spyros Kyprianou Avenue and should be a visible reference point for the urban centre. It is a private effort that will put Cyprus on the map of cities with tall buildings. The owners have applied for it to be reviewed. It is the brainchild of architectural firm Atkins. The Santa Roza Tower will have 29 floors and will consist of offices, apartments and a commercial and business centre.
* Saturn Tower locniated in the centre of Nicosia Street Anna Comnena, perpendicular to the main boulevards Stasandrou and Makarios. The design includes two oval nuclei, with reinforced concrete, and a total of four metal columns. The building features an open floor mezzanine floor with seven floors of offices, while the eighth and ninth floor will be exclusive apartments. There will be two underground levels of parking for residents. Zeno Zeno and Associates are the project architects
* Chapo Developers are planning a 17 storey building that will include three levels of underground parking. The building will be used for offices and luxury apartments, lobbies, cafeteria and conference rooms.
* The Jean Nouvel Tower 25 has been designed by the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. The construction began in 2008 and has progressed significantly. Nice Day Developments and Lois Builders Ltd are behind the project. It is located just steps away from Eleftheria Square and Stasinou Avenue. Inspired by the medieval walls and unobstructed views of the old city, the shape of the building is directly related to the bastions of the walls, while the layout of each apartment refers to the traditional architecture of Cyprus with the big solar centre. The building will consist of shops, offices and apartments.
* Gallery Leventis will be erected on Leonidou Street. The final design of the building includes two underground parking levels, three floors of exhibition spaces and additional apartments. The project is estimated to cost around €20 million. It has been undertaken by the consortium Iacovou-GCC.
* Rotos President in Demosthenes Severi, near the Presidential Palace, is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It has 15 floors (three underground parking, ground floor shop with mezzanine, and offices). Project architects are Zeno Zeno and Associates and the developer A. Aristotelous Construction.
* Construction on Patroclos Tower on Spyros Kyprianou Avenue by the Patroclos Group of Companies began a year ago and is expected to be completed early 2013. The building will offer three levels of underground parking, a ground floor with mezzanine floors and offices on other floors plus two residential apartments.
* Two of the tallest buildings in Nicosia on Diagorou Avenue. Ira is the building that has 12 floors and the nine storey building Ajax of PWC.
* The Deloitte building on Spyros Kyprianou Avenue.