The competition brief called for a new 8500m2 building for the Head Offices of the Co-operative Bank in Nicosia. The proposal envisioned a building that would be able to carry the required program intelligently, by offering dynamically flexible and reconfigurable spaces, while at the same time developing a spatially rich working environment supported by energy efficiency design principles.
Ground floor spaces carry a largely public character and include a generous lobby, a retail banking unit, and a cultural multi-mode events facility that can operate independently. The upper levels carry a training facility, a library and 4000m2 of office space, while the three basements offer extensive high security storage facilities, utility areas and parking.
The project unfolds a continuous facade that materializes our responses to contextual, bioclimatic and programmatic parameters, into a seamless, coherent entity. The building was conceived from the outset to carry a highly sophisticated energy efficient bioclimatic, ‘breathing’ façade, with an outer layer made of high performance PTFE weave as a solar screen and an inner layer of low emissivity glass openings. The two layers develop a dynamically differential relationship, as they are driven by bioclimatic, programmatic or formal parameters. Their relationship is in occasions spatial as well as formal. On the north façade, the 2nd floor the space between fabric outer layer and glass inner layer becomes the cafeteria patio, with extensive seating facilities. In other areas the two skins have a more prosaic relationship, with only a 70cm maintenance gap between them.
The internal spatial syntax of the building has been developed to present flexibility - all levels can accept different arrangements, division layouts and uses – but without resorting to uniformity, instead developing conditions of ‘heterotopy’, where the formal articulation of the building predisposes but does not fix specific programmatic provisions or uses.
Architects: Michael Cosmas Architecture and Simpraxis Architects
Project Architects: Michael Cosmas with Marios Christodoulides (Simpraxis), Christos Christodoulou (Simpraxis)
Team (MCA) : Antonis Antoniou, Nasos Philippou, Rui Santos
Structural Engineering: EPS/ Nikos Kalathas
Mechanical Engineering: E-mech
Electrical Engineering: Electroproject