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Competition: All Along the Watchtower, Cyprus

Structures on the Edge Tower by MSA-Gruff

An open international contest has been launched to design a £9,200 public viewing tower on a beach near Paphos, Cyprus

The competition, organised by the Cyprus School of Architecture (CYSOA), seeks conceptual designs for a 25m2 public observation structure of any height along with a lifeguard station on Geroskipou beach.

The project is part of a planned series of improvement works on the popular waterfront. Earlier this year CYSOA held a separate contest for a new Paphos Beach Shelter nearby which was won by Korean firm Kim Min Jae Architects. UK-based Angus Bolland and Rachel Leatherbarrow were also named runner-ups.

According to the brief: ‘The essential programmatic need is to provide a viewing tower, for the public, and a lifeguard station, however additional programs, material concerns, and aesthetic results should be decided by individual participants.

‘Entrants should take into account the potential implementation of the winning entry of the Paphos Beach Shelters Competition, as discussions to implement the scheme will begin in October.’

Geroskipou is a coastal town east of the major city of Paphos. Its population is approximately 7,000 and it is the second largest municipality in Paphos District.

The city of Paphos is about 50km west from Limassol – Cyprus’ largest port – and its urban area is home to 62,000 residents along with an international airport. As European Capital of Culture 2017, the settlement is hosting a range of cultural events until the end of September.

Surrounded by many historical buildings, the popular tourist district of Paphos features a subtropical climate and was an important centre for the ancient cult of Aphrodite. The coastal town of Geroskipou is, meanwhile, famous for its five-domed Byzantine church of Agia Paraskevi, a Folk Art Museum and the production of Turkish Delight.

The latest competition is open to both solo individuals and teams of up to four members. Submissions must be in English and include one A3-sized landscape board featuring diagrams and explanations.

The winning scheme will be constructed following consultation with the local community and approval by the council. All entries will feature in an exhibition hosted by CYSOA at the Municipality Gallery in Geroskipou.

The registration deadline is 12noon local time (UTC+2) on 29 September and submissions must be completed by 12noon local time (UTC+2) on 27 October.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

The Cyprus School of Architecture
6 Stass Paraskos Street
Lempa Village
8260 Paphos
Cyprus

Email: contact@cysoa.com

 

Q&A with Emilio Koutsoftides

The organiser discusses his aspirations for the contest

Emilio Koutsoftides

Emilio Koutsoftides

Emilio Koutsoftides

Why are your holding a contest for a new beachfront observation tower?

The competition is part of our initiative to procure a number of different small architectural objects to gradually increase the quality of the built environment along the waterfront of Geroskipou. The competition format serves to allow the greatest possible freedom to the entrants, and hopefully to produce the widest possible variety of design proposals, resulting in something that we perhaps wouldn’t have imagined ourselves.

What is your vision for the new structure?

The new watchtower, at its most basic, should provide facilities currently served by the small lifeguard posts on the beach, as well as a public viewing tower. However, the brief allows for the introduction of additional programmes where appropriate. We hope this will result in strange hybrids, demonstrating that even small budget projects can test boundaries. The contest site is Geroskipou Municipality Beach, but the exact positioning of the tower(s) is fairly flexible. With justification, they could be placed anywhere on the beach, or perhaps even in the sea. We imagine that the winning scheme will be a radical proposal, demonstrating considerable innovation, and an excellent example of sustainable design.

What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?

As with our previous competition, ‘Paphos Beach Shelters’, we imagine this competition will be of most interest to emerging practices and designers. The competition will provide a perhaps slightly unusual opportunity to realise a design, with the associated press exposure that this will bring. We would, of course, welcome the participation of more established practices as well.

Paphos Beach Shelter winning scheme by Kim Min Jae Architects

Paphos Beach Shelter winning scheme by Kim Min Jae Architects

Paphos Beach Shelter winning scheme by Kim Min Jae Architects

Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?

The first phase of our competitions at Geroskipou beach will come to an end with this competition. The results of this and our previous competition will be exhibited on the island in the autumn, alongside negotiations with the local authority. The next phase will be launched in the autumn, with a view to repeating this process in the spring of 2018.

Are there any other viewing platform projects you have been impressed by?

I don’t think we would want to suggest a particular direction for the design, but a personal favourite is the Tower and Dreams and Longings in Trier, Germany by Hermann & Valentiny and Partners (2004).

Geroskipou beach

Geroskipou beach

Geroskipou beach