Located in Limassol center, this corner building was abandoned and semi destroyed until recently. Influenced by the local urban architectural style of the time, it comprises a ground level floor for commercial use and an upper level floor apartment, with its main entrance on the side road. Its distinctive “ship-like” shape is due, in good part, to the special urban planning of the specific area.
Both the ground and 1st floor framework is constructed with brick masonry and reinforced concrete on the structural elements.
The design study of the ground floor involved the conversion of the preexisting space to a multi-use cultural space. The demolition and subsequent removal of all later additions was a priority, in order to reveal the original architecture of the building. Thus, we concluded that some elements should be preserved, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also as a respectful choice for the building’s history. Specifically, we restored and maintained the 20x20cm yellow shaded terrazzo style mosaic tiles, a material that was widely used in Cyprus at the. As the same material is found in all the ground pillars, the visual and conceptual link with a foregone modernity is augmented.
Furthermore, the whole interior space turned into an open space area and modern facilities were added. Concerning the large display windows, all of them were replaced in order to support the new function of the space. The diffusion of sunlight into the interior permits it to act as the main factor of transformation inside a neutral interior. The original steel frame was kept in place where possible and painted in a dark blue shade.
The residential 1st floor demanded excessive restoration process. All alien structural interventions were removed, as well as any later addition that deformed the original exterior view of the building. We tried to bring out elements like the glass room on the terrace and the skilful metal rail. To add to the overall preservation mindset, the walls and roof base were painted white. The wooden exterior parts of the windows were painted in light grey shade, in opposition to their interior part, where a dark blue shade was selected.
Since the existing interior plan served as offices, a complete interior redesign was taken on. By adding interior walls and creating new openings, it became more suitable and functional for residential use.
The unrestricted view from the inside to the outside was the main purpose of our proposed layout. Given the building’s location, it was essential that the tenant would be engaged by the area’s rich cultural history.
At the entrance, where the staircase is found, we took advantage of the symmetrical window glass element, another past element of urban architecture, in order to create a colorful light effect that intensively reaches the living room. Depending on the time of day, the interior is overfilled with a bright light of yellow/orange shade, vividly transforming its restored architectural elements.
Due to the many different types of flooring, we decided to use a light blue shaded floor paint in the common spaces. A unifying choice that is pointed out as a contemporary option in a 50s architectural example.