Zaha Hadid Architects transforms Nicosia ancient moat into a fluid streetscape

Eleftheria Square aims to riunificate the capital of Cyprus thanks to new public spaces around the ancient Venetian walls.

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) designed a new urban and social hub, called Eleftheria Square, for the capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia. The project, in concrete, aims to create new connections and it marks the initial phase of a larger urban plan that want to be a catalyst for the reunification of the city, nowadays splitted in two part by its own fortifications. Constructed in the Middle Ages and then rebuilt by the Venetians in the 16th century, Nicosia’s massive walls in fact sharply divide the old city from the modern districts.

Eleftheria Square, located near the center, is adjacent to the Venetian fortification and to the ancient moat – today dry – that encircles the old city. The design allows views of the walls, considering them as an integral part of Nicosia’s identity, and at the same time it also opens the moat to the citizens, creating a green belt around the city. ZHA’s project, in this way, proposes new public spaces in order to reconnecting the different communities of a divided capital.

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