Winning design revealed for Cyprus archaeology museum

Greek architect Theoni Xanthi has won an international design competition for a new archaeology museum in Cyprus, which will house the nation’s treasures.

The New Cyprus Museum will replace the country’s current archaeological institution in Nicosia. That building was established in the late 1800s and now lacks enough space to house the museum’s growing collection of antiquities.

Its €49m (US$54.6m, £43m) replacement will occupy the site of the old Nicosia General Hospital, which is being relocated.

The design competition, held in two stages, was organised by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. In total, 129 entries were submitted. The jury, including international architects Sir Peter Cook and Ilias Zegeli, then whittled down to a shortlist of seven.

Second place went to Pedro Pitarch Alonso from Spain, and Lebanon’s Paul Kaloustian won third prize.

Xanthi and her colleagues at XZA Architects, will now develop a design proposal and project specifications so that the tender process for contractors can begin.

Images of their design, released by the ministry, show three raised white-stone volumes resting above clear glass boxes. A terraced garden with trees and waterways surrounds the building, and an open-air atrium appears to feature a sunken public plaza that can host outdoor performances.

According to newspaper the Cyprus Mail, the new museum is expected to be constructed in two phases. Permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, administration offices, storage areas for antiquities, a shop, a restaurant, and exterior landscaping will be built first. A library, auditorium and further underground parking will follow in the second phase.

AXA Architects have previously been shortlisted in design competitions for a Recreation Park and Rural Heritage Museum in Eptagonia, Cyprus and a Museum for the Promotion of the ancient Greek city of Argos.

New Cyprus Museum  archaeology  architecture  design  Theoni Xanthi  Sir Peter Cook 
Greek architect Theoni Xanthi has won an international design competition for a new archaeology museum in Cyprus, which will house the nation’s treasures. The New Cyprus Museum will replace the country’s current archaeological institution in Nicosia. That building was established in the late 1800s and now lacks enough space to house the museum’s growing collection of antiquities. Its €49m (US$54.6m, £43m) replacement will occupy the site of the old Nicosia
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A terraced garden with trees and waterways surrounds the building / Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works
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