Inherent Simplicity (2nd award)

Inherent Simplicity (2nd award)
European competition for the school of fine arts, Lempa, Cyprus
“A part of the past dies every moment and its mortality infects us if we cling to it with excessive love. A part of the past is always alive and we are in danger if we scout its vitality.” Rex Warner

The proposal to incorporate the school and guest houses into the site, harnessing the light, wind, water, and vegetation – all integral elements of Mediterranean architectural expression – was a deliberate intention from the project’s inception. This proposal involves spatial arrangements that embrace fundamental architectural archetypes while emphasizing the significance of outdoor living, social interaction, and the essential connection with nature as prerequisites for artistic creation.

The interplay between old and new and their integration within this adaptable site is achieved through a primal simplicity that characterizes the proposal. The forms of the proposed buildings exhibit a distinct architectural vocabulary that differentiates them from the existing structures, avoiding any inclination to mimic stone buildings or merge with them. The design follows the natural contours of the site, with the slender building components lightly touching the ground without altering its topography. By employing minimal intervention, the proposal successfully fulfills functional requirements and creates spaces of exceptional quality. In this design, the dialogue between old and new is facilitated through inherent simplicity.

The boundaries surrounding the plot earmarked for the School of Fine Arts possess distinctive characteristics. To the south, where the school’s sculptures currently reside, the plot adjoins the village’s main road and the soon-to-be-renovated main square. The eastern boundary shares a semi-detached relationship with other properties, showcasing a diverse range of buildings characterized by their unique architectural heterogeneity. Towards the northeast, the plot abuts a section of the archaeological site, while most of its eastern side adjoins a low-traffic road. Three simple and geometrically defined lines form the central concept and structure of the proposal.

01 | Two L-shaped shear walls constructed from compressed earth (rammed earth) follow the plot’s borders, effectively separating the faculty from the “pluralism” of the neighboring buildings and creating two distinct sections. A thinner, perforated shear wall of the same material is positioned along the eastern boundary, demarcating the main and secondary (auxiliary) entrances and serving as a boundary/ filter towards the archaeological site.
02 | Two panels, located at a distance from both shear walls, interact with them and accommodate enclosed and semi-open spaces. These spaces house workshops and exhibition areas, fostering integration with the outdoor environment.
03 | Two elevated rectangular prisms, positioned above the panels and shear walls, house the administration and teaching areas, shaping the public facade and forming two courtyards/creative hubs, thereby completing the composition.

Location: Lempa, Cyprus

Architects: P4architecture

Design Team: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, Evangelos Fokialis

Contributors: Panopoulos Theodore, Xirokostas Michail

Architects consultants: Konstantinos Pyliotis, Tassis Papaioannou (Professor at N.T.U.A.)

Mechanical Engineer Consultant: Sourilas Konstantinos (KNS engineering consultants)

Area: 2150m2

Project Type: European Competition (2nd Prize)

Project Year: 2016