Offices of Presidential Administration

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Offices of Presidential Administration

The Offices of North Cyprus Presidential Administration Building is proposed for a site in a very unique urban texture. Project is selected through competition and redesigned according to developed and extended architectural program. The need of having an offices building close to the Presidential Residence resulted in a building program with 4500m2 of offices, meeting and leisure spaces. It will be located facing a British Colonial Architecture example that sits on the Quirini Bastion of 16th Century Venetian City Walls of Nicosia and will become part of the fragmented and multilayered texture of Nicosia Old City. The building site is situated on an axis, which starts with a strong definition by the historic Kyrenia Gate and Inonu Square, a square used frequently for gatherings and demonstrations. The proposed administrative offices building will become an integral part of its context with the connections it possesses with its environment. Rather than embodying a unified and ideal form, the building shapes with reference to the movements of surrounding streets creating progressive inner voids. Through the embodiment of these movements, the building avoids being timeless and placeless or in other words it avoids being monumental. Through the dense and enriched flow of spaces, the proposed building comes into existence by the momentary experience of every individual. Different speeds of movement of individuals configures and reconfigures the space. Although the ratio of building program to site area forces a mono-block mass with a limit of two storeys, this problem is resolved by going two levels deep into the site forming deep courtyards. The building is dissected by the axis reaching from Kyrenia Gate and Inonu Square while creating interior voids on its path. Through this inner flow of spaces, contemporary building tectonics is utilized to combine interior courtyards and narrow street typologies arising from the historical evolution of Mediterranean space. The building is envisioned as an administration building that will appear as an extension of public space. Within the exceptional urban texture of hans, hamams and eaved houses with cumbas (window projection to the street), it is possible to experience the quality of social life and natural climatization in narrow streets and inner courtyards that are still a part of life in the Old Town of Nicosia. Spaces in inner voids are enriched with dynamic circulation elements like staircases and colonnaded arcades and terraces. Besides creating physical comfort in the interior space, the inner courtyards proposed aim at sustaining traditional way of life inside the building as they become part of the social life where leisure spaces and circulation elements like staircases, steel bridges and ramps meet to enrich the quality of architectural space. In the course of the street within the building, courtyards are placed as: the public courtyard, café area formed as a glass box and the consultants’ courtyard. The public courtyard and consultants’ courtyard intend to create social interaction spaces at the first basement level where they also act as important tools to bring natural light and ventilation to the two basement levels. The public courtyard is a space that serves for the seminar and meeting rooms, press and information units and has access from the lounge. The middle courtyard is a transparent closure shaded by an array of solar panels providing energy for artificial lighting. This space of socialization will be defined by the inner façade of the existing historical building to be preserved facing the new construction, which will let the users experience a spatial contradiction resulting from this juxtaposition. The third courtyard serves the office block that carries the dense architectural program of consultant units. The quality of natural Mediterranean light and natural climatization provided with interior courtyards, the glass spinal axis covering offices circulation and light holes in the interior courtyards will help reduce the energy spent for lighting in the building which is %70 of overall energy use in office environments. The office spaces envelop the social voids and sustain visual access to changes in social and natural environment. Changes in sunlight, rain and wind all reverberate into office spaces together with the energy of social interaction, the most important aspect of Cypriot worklife. The offices are designed as combination of open plan and pavilion type offices where all infrastructure is assigned to moveable partitions allowing future changes in the office scheme. The façade along the street mimics the Walled City street elevations characterized by the cumbas . Building entrance proposes a void with its extending eaves and projections instead of creating a face, which would imply a certain distance from the spectator/visitor. In place of a surface of palace, the façade becomes a shelter. Instead of coded surfaces, the proposed building is formed through the continuity of masses created by depths and shades added together through a system of joints. The Offices of Presidential Administration Building embraces many contradictions as it tries to remain ambiguous and avoid any form of representation, figuration or symbolism of any form while housing the President as a political character and leader of Turkish Cypriot Community. The building should always remain silent, as a backdrop, as a landscape… as an inert subject.

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