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Volver a Nacer

Part 2 Project 2013
Nathan Ovens
Darran Levins
William Hei
Timothy Anderson
University of Bath, UK
‘Volver a Nacer’, a city reborn

In Cyprus, the violent scenes of the 1974 conflict occurred recently enough to still be present in the minds of many of Nicosia’s residents. Subsequently the process of reunification can be a painful personal experience as well as a political hurdle. As such, the city remains divided and what was once the center of the island is now an abandoned edge. As a consequence, the migration of people out of the Old Town (80% of the population has left over the last 40 years) has caused it to deteriorate, its stone and cob walls gradually returning to the earth. This dereliction and neglect overshadows the numerous historical monuments that can be found within the cities unique Venetian walls creating a significant obstacle to Nicosia’s application for World Heritage status or European City of Culture 2017.

During the last forty years the unoccupied buffer zone has been transformed by ecological systems that were previously oppressed by the cities relentless urbanisation. In response to this, our urban design proposal presents an ecological solution to an architectural problem and petitions the idea that this scar can be reborn as a catalyst for healing. The two sides have previously engaged in essential partnership projects, though it is felt a more ambitious scheme is required if the country is to tackle the serious environmental issues it is facing, as the rise in temperature, the increasing water shortage and the rapid desertification of the island are arguably a greater threat than human conflict. Furthermore, the symbolism of ‘if’ and ‘how’ the Old Town is re-invented will have substantial repercussions for the future of the island. Like the oasis Ludwig Salvator described it as, Nicosia’s old town should once again become a symbol of hope in the desert, “a dream of the Arabian Nights realised”.

Nathan Ovens
Darran Levins
William Hei
Timothy Anderson

Tutor(s)



Mr Alex Wright
2013
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