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KPF's play time in Cyprus

KPF's London office has unveiled these completed designs for a new National Theatre of Cyprus in Nicosia.

The 5,855m 2 project, which KPF won in an open international competition in 2003, aims to create an 'exemplary performance complex' for the island.

The design proposal integrates the theatre and a surrounding public park, which forms the setting for outdoor concerts. Two ramps rise from the park to lead visitors to the foyer, and a private theatre garden is set at the heart of the site, away from traffic noise.

The main 550-seat auditorium will be the focus of the project with a 'shimmering elliptical volume' that will 'burst' from the constraints of its surrounding building.

Internally, the theatre is designed to minimise the distance from actor to audience with the seating 'enfolding' the stage. The complex also includes a second 150-seat theatre that is intended to create a more intimate experience for the audience. Simple galleries ring the space where the stage can be set in the centre, at the ends, or to one side of the room.

The foyer, which is set between the theatre and the park, is designed as a multi-level space with views over the park. Administration offices are at high level, grouped around a linear courtyard garden. They will enjoy direct connection to both front of house and backstage areas. The project also includes studio apartments - for visiting actors and theatre personnel - that overlook the private theatre garden.

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