At the centre of Nicosia, next to Eleftheria Square, Jean Nouvel Tower 25 is the tallest building in the capital, and indeed a striking point of reference. Its verticality, in relation to the horizontality of the medieval walls and the Moat that encloses the old part of the city, sets the stage for a series of inversions which reflect the building’s distinct character.
Along the south façade, large planting areas run the length of the tower and create a vertical “green” screen modulating the sunlight that spills into the interior of the apartments / offices. A natural brise soleil reaching the height of its vegetation during the summer months, it protects the apartments from the intense heat of the day. In the winter it sheds most of its foliage, allowing the sun to pervade the apartments. It is indeed a “living” façade, either swaying in the westerly summer evening breeze, or bending under the strong winds of the winter, sometimes in bloom and other times acquiring a copper-brown colour, continually and imperceptibly transformed through the cyclic movement of the seasons. The soft edge, reminiscent of the cypress trees and cane-fields planted along the perimeter of orchards, is part of the city’s scenery. On the east-west, instead of creating a “two-dimensional” image of nature, the surfaces incorporate technology in its most emblematic form: punctured by a random array of openings, either glazed or left open, they negate the massiveness of the walls by numerous perforations, producing an ethereal reference to the pixels of a computer screen enlarged image. In this way, the rough stones used in the construction of the medieval walls become reversed in function and become precise pixel-like voids. At night the-wall-as-a-giant-screen metaphor becomes even more literal and pronounced with the lights from the apartments / offices randomly going on and off, reverberating human movements within.
The grid re-emerges, subverted of its function as organisational and structural tool and becomes an aesthetic device.
Τhe “graphic” surfaces of the east, west and south façades give way to a dynamic three-dimensional elevation on the north. One has the sense that the building expands and contracts, as the balconies slide in and out with alternate widths and depths. But even in the midst of this dynamism the façade seems to act more as a signifier than a conventional elevation. Here, at last, the number of building floors is revealed and the large balconies acknowledge the Mediterranean climate and the significance of spending time outside. On the top two floors, a duplex apartment is organised around a central court-yard, a typology common to Cypriot traditional architecture. The apartment is protected from the summer sun by three large shades set at different angles, reminiscent of an “exploded” hipped roof which, perhaps, from a certain vantage point will again coalesce into the whole.
The information in pdf format is a printer friendly file containing a brief description of the building, the plans to scale, the areas, the location map and the specifications. This file can be printed on A4 paper. For more detailed information please contact Nice Day Developments and request the brochure. VIEW PDF ATTACHMENT