Eleftheria Square. Zaha Hadid Architects
Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkatzis has stated that the capital is investing considerably into Zaha Hadid’s architectural vision for Eleftheria Square.
“When we reach completion of this work, the city will change, it will become an attraction destination for visitors and business people, and it will set the centre firmly on a track for revitalisation and development,” Yiorkatzis told the Cyprus News Agency.
In 2005 an architectural competition was announced to redesign Eleftheria Square, and it was awarded to a group led by world-renowned Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. The proposed plans had been heavily criticised by some local designers and were further delayed by mandatory archaeological surveys and disagreements between contractors and designers.
Eleftheria Square has experienced multiple delays since the project was announced
For a while now the centre has been marred by images of blocked construction, but representatives from both the contractor and the architect met recently, and things are moving ahead according to Yiorkatzis.
“This is a complex piece of work which demands high precision in construction and involves many artistic elements. All these features needed time for realistic cost estimates. Relaunching the project now has helped ensure that cost estimates are the result of open and free competition,” Yiorkatzis continued.
Yiorkatzis added that transparency and lawful dealings have restored the aim of the project. “Our primary goal is to implement this important work within the time allotted by the funding contract.”
Hadid has designed structures such as Sheikh Zayed Bridge and MAXXI Museum to name but a few
At the epicentre of Cyprus’ modern history, Eleftheria Square has a long-standing reputation of being the linchpin between the modern city and the historical centre, as well as a reference point for Nicosia’s residents.
The regeneration project, which is set to create a new landmark for the city, is being carried out in the space between this square and neighbouring Solomou Square. An Urban Recreational Park is also set to be developed, which will be home to an open-air theatre, a children’s playground, a bicycle route as well as a number of cafés and food stalls.
In a wider effort to improve traffic congestion throughout the city, pedestrians will be able to travel between the two squares making use of the new bridge which is currently being constructed, as well as make use of Solomou Square’s new bus station which will offer 14 new routes across the city.