Project Name: NEW CYPRUS MUSEUM Location: Nicosia, Cyprus Year: 2017 Type: Museum Collaborators: Vincent Appel, Lauren Bierly, Travis Fitch, Charles Garcia, Paul Miller, Tram Anh Nguyen, Alex Wilk Size: 40,000SM Status: unbuilt
'The Obscured Object'

The New Cyprus Museum translates practice and process of archaeology into architectural and urban experience. Buildings are positioned to create a campus of obscured objects, just out of full view from visitors approaching the site.

Program is split into three interconnected structures, providing ideal spatial and environmental conditions. At grade a new public park connects the buildings, river promenade to the west, and estuary to the north. Artifact storage, parking, and common facilities are located beneath this landscape.

The gallery building is organized around a large atrium. Its floor is imagined as an archaeologist’s survey grid open to the galleries below. This space creates a micro-climate and diffuse lighting for display, preservation, and experience of artifacts. Upon entry, visitors experience an overview of the entire collection. Descending down into the galleries, visitors access different time periods or themes directly. Galleries receive diffuse light from the main hall above and localized accent light from the underside of the museum floor. Treated air is distributed through the floor plate and delivered to the galleries as required. Openings through the plate allow large objects to be exhibited. Walls can be removed between the spaces to allow themes to develop and spread out between galleries. The periodical exhibition hall is accessed from the main hall and is connected to the entrance lobby through a double-height space.

The exteriors of the buildings are clad in calcarenite panels. Their geometry recalls the nearby Venetian walls. This local stone is selected for its cultural relevance, familiarity in the landscape, and use as a thermal mass. Varying panel thicknesses and aperture on each building allow the gallery, library, and laboratory facades to provide unique lighting, vision, and thermal demands.

Each building creates a discrete urban relationship. As a series of nested experiences within the landscape, the site reveals itself within the city, the museum buildings within the site, the experience of the program (galleries, laboratories, and library) within each specialized building. The project translates the mission of the New Cyprus Museum and archaeological processes into an architectural and urban experience.