The Getty Conservation Institute has launched a contest for a new interpretation shelter at the ancient ruins of Nea Paphos in Cyprus
The organisation is inviting expressions of interest from architects for a new shelter concept to protect a series of ‘highly significant’ mosaic pavements and floors while also allowing visitors to study and enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage site.
The pilot project will create one structure to cover a 900m² area featuring two decorative mosaics and the remains of Roman bath complex and an additional 350-to-1,800m² structure covering several additional mosaic pavements and masonry walls. If successful, the shelter concept may be harnessed for several other locations across the former Greek and Roman city.
According to the brief: ‘Steadily growing in popularity, the project site is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. This needs to be balanced with the primary objective of the shelter, which is to protect the floor mosaics from environmental and other risks that negatively impact its condition and lead to deterioration and loss over time.
‘The future shelter will be required to function in a maritime context with fluctuating climatic conditions. This environ-mental context intensifies the physical vulnerability of the cultural resources. The form and aesthetics of the future design will have to respect, and respond to, the unique natural and cultural setting of the site.’
The city of Paphos is about 50km west from Limassol – Cyprus’s largest port – and its urban area is home to 62,000 residents along with an international airport. The competition focusses on a series of ruins located with the coastal Paphos Archaeological Park within the Nea Paphos district of the settlement.
Landmark ruins within the campus include the House of Dionysos, the House of Aion, the House of Theseus and the House of Orpheus which all feature decorative mosaics. There are also two theatres, a basilica, agora and several private villas.
The two-stage call for concepts will select a ‘innovative, yet practical’ shelter prototype for the historic site. Proposals must respond to local climatic conditions while also considering the long-term maintenance of the shelters.
Stage one applications should include team details, examples of three previous relevant projects, and a 1,500-word description of the team’s approach to heritage projects. Between three and five taems will be invited to proceed to the second stage and receive a $12,000 USD to create design concepts. Finalists’ travel costs for visiting the site will also be covered.
An overall winner will be announced in December 2020. The deadline for applications is 20 January.
How to apply