Frames of Co-Living

Frames of Co-Living
International competition for the public student housing in Nicosia, Cyprus (winning proposal)
“The prioritization of efficiency and cost-effectiveness in mass collective housing often leads to the elimination of unprogrammed spaces, denying residents the opportunity for serendipitous encounters and informal socializing.” Peter Rowe

The modern approach to collective habitation, driven by efficiency and functionality, often neglected the importance of non-programmed spaces. This resulted in the limitation or even elimination of transitional areas and thresholds, leading to a sense of alienation and a crisis in collective life. To address this, the present proposal emphasizes the significance of “in-between” spaces as vital components of collective habitation, capable of accommodating the nuances of daily life.

The proposal utilizes fundamental archetypal spatial structures, such as the Agora, Stoa, Theater, Atrium, Street, Thresholds, Public, and Private Rooms, to promote collective life through symbiosis. It adopts a “generic-specific” concept, incorporating a standardized “space-centric” construction that addresses the universal question of student residences while employing a “place-adaptive” podium to respond to the specific needs and characteristics of the site.

The landscape approach plays a crucial role, employing vegetation as a compositional tool to function as the connective tissue in the “specific-generic” concept. The use of vegetation creates a sustainable ecosystem that evolves and grows organically over time.

The main idea of the proposal revolves around five distinct compositional gestures:
01 | A monolithic plinth emerges from the earth, controlling the topography and housing all public and auxiliary uses of the complex.
02 | The receding boundaries of the riverside plinth create a linear semi-outdoor space (stoa) that invites inhabitants into the core of the building complex. Apertures at the intersections mark the entrance
to the Agora.
03 | The main square, Agora, is formed by subtracting volume from the middle section of the plinth. A perimetrical stoa organizes and unifies the public uses of the complex around the Agora. Outdoor theater, sloped ramps, and staircases connect the Agora to the elevated gardens.
04 | Enclosed frames of lightweight standardized construction define the introversive atriums of the proposal. These frames consist of repeating standard rooms created using a hybrid prefab system with CLT panels, offering cost and time efficiency, reduced carbon footprint, and precise construction.
05 | The landscape approach aims to create a sustainable ecosystem and act as connective tissue. Climbing planting on eco-mesh wire creates a green homogenized facade, while trees and shrubs from the para-Mediterranean landscape compose the elevated public gardens, improving the microclimate.

The proposed housing model focuses on the concept of a “society of rooms.” Each room serves as a space for pause, contemplation, and individual expression within the context of collective life. The multiplication of these units within an enclosed structure creates a community where inhabitants coexist, interact, and form a collective way of living. Non-programmatic spaces, such as atriums, semi-outdoor corridors, and widened thresholds, serve as the connective tissue, facilitating interaction and creating a cohesive community of symbiosis that accommodates the diverse events of daily life.

Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
Architects: P4architecture
Design Team: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, Evangelos Fokialis, Konstantinos Pyliotis, Panayiota Kyriakou
Architect Consultant: Tassis (Anastasios) Pappaioannou
Interior Design Consultant: Andreas Petropoulos
Civil Engineers Consultants: Skalos EPE, Allagiotis – Giorgala Services LTD
Mechanical & Engineering Consultants: Nicolas E. Aristodemou, KNS Engineers 

Landscape Approach: Doxiadis+, Roberto Ransom R.

3D Visualization: blankwall.avs, Sofia Sofianou

Marble Model: Dousis Marble (Konstantinos Dousis, Nikolaos Doulos) 

Project Type: International Competition (Highest Winning Proposal)

Project Year: 2021