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Public Realm

Public plaza promoting unity in a divided city

“This dazzling display of spatial inventiveness transforms and connects new and old landmarks into a characteristic tour de force of forms and movement offering new perspectives of this historic city,” Bob Fry, Judge

Project: Eleftheria Square 

Award: Urban landscape, Gold, 2022

Location: Nicosia, Cyprus

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects 

Client: Nikosia Municipality

Eleftheria Square is a new public square in the heart of the Cypriot capital, providing a striking gateway to the old city. Featuring tree-lined promenades, green spaces, paved areas and water features, it is built on the site of a previously inaccessible dry moat that, along with the historic Venetian Walls, marks the boundary between Nicosia’s old city and the new. The walls and moat also extend along the city’s ‘Green Line’ which divides it into two disparate communities – the Greek side of Cyprus and the Turkish occupied side.
The architects envisaged this as the initial phase of a potentially larger urban plan that could see public spaces extend to follow the ancient city walls and encircle Nicosia. Their vision? An orbital park that reconnects the communities of this divided capital and acts as a catalyst for reunification.

Design highlights

The sinuous, sculptural upper level bridge and supporting columns ensure structural integrity in this seismic region with the base of each column morphing into seating. Curving white concrete stairs and bridges directly connect with the bus terminal in Solomos Square. Underground parking removes cars from the ancient city’s streets to enable further pedestrianisation of this historic district. Granite paving in the moat allows for a passive rainwater drainage system which minimises erosion of the foundations of the medieval walls which were restored during construction.

  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square
  • Eleftheria Square

Photo credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu, K.Arkatites 

    ARCHITECT: Zaha Hadid Architects  
    DESIGN: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Christos Passas 
    ZHA COMPETITION TEAM: Christos Passas (Design Director), Saffet Bekiroglu, Viviana Muscettola, Michele Pasca di Magliano, Daniel Fiser, Ceyhun Baskin, Inanc Eray 
    ZHA SCHEMATIC DESIGN TEAM: Stella Nikolakaki (Design Lead), Sevil Yazici (Design Lead), Sylvia Georgiadou, Takang Hsu, Phivos Skroumbelos and Marilena Sophocleus (Landscape), Chrysi Fradellou, Edward Sorgeloose, Vladimir Tschaly 
  • ZHA DESIGN DEVELOPMENTDimitris Akritopoulos (Design Lead), Bence Pap (Design Lead), Kwanphil Cho, Reza Esmaeeli, Chrysi Fradellou, Raul Forsoni, Thomas Frings, Jesus Garate, Irene Guerra, George Giokalas, Spyridon Kaprinis, Javier Ernesto Lebie, Carlos Luna, Vincent Nowak, Anna Papachristoforou, Sophia Papageorgiou, Vivian Pashiali, Ivan Ucros Polley, Matthew Richardson, Michail Roidis, Hendrik Rupp, Andri Shalou, Vladimir Tschaly, Leo Alves, Megan Burke (Landscape), Eleni Mente (Landscape), David McDowell (Administration) 
    ZHA PROJECT SUPERVISION TEAMElectra Mikelides, Dimitris Kolonis, Stella Nikolakaki, Vivian Pashiali, Christos Sazos, Nicos Yiatros, Christina Christodoulidou, Maria-Eleni Bali

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