The first prize winning proposal for the CYC Students Residence University by EKKY Studio is an affordable student housing complex close to the university of Cyprus, in the Aglantzia area of Nicosia. Through their research, a new building typology was explored which can house 70-76 students and can potentially create public facilities for the students of the neighboring properties, aiming at creating a contemporary student housing hub. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Alienation and lack of social contact are major problems for many students. The main concept of the complex is to create a small community and to initiate a widespread social network within the residence. The main shapes provide the greatest possible contact between common and private spaces by creating all the movement paths as an interior outdoor interactive space that is surrounding the heart of the building. At the same time, the main shape ensures the privacy of each residence by giving it the view towards the road, with most of the units having a private veranda.
In order to allow light in the courtyard, the building is only two floors high in the south west façade and goes up to four floors in the north east façade. The two wings of the building are connected by a slope roof that hosts a slope garden and an open sitting area where students can meet during the day and enjoy external activities in the Mediterranean climate.
The upper levels (1st-4th floor) are mainly organized with the residence units situated along the perimeter. Each unit has a private bathroom, a kitchen, a sleeping area and a study area. At the ground floor are grouped all the communal functions and facilities such as the cafeteria, the reception area, a pool area, multi-use areas, a small supermarket etc. All the common areas at the ground floor have been designed to have a double view, both to the street and the interior courtyard, giving the users the flexibility to observe both outside and inside activities. The corridors around the central outdoor space, “a hole in the solid form of the building”, is creating a luxurious Mediterranean oasis of sitting areas in the center of the entire building.
The dormitory’s shell is facing the surrounding buildings with a series of large windows. The composition of the facade of aluminium panels, is a sliding screen profile system that allows the indoor units of 20-25 sq.m. to extend the interior space toward the exterior balconies. As the exterior space is composed by strict repetitive elements the interior facade is full of colors, warm materials and green areas.
Many common areas can be found throughout the building, creating breathing holes in the main shape. Those holes allow natural light and ventilation in the building, creating at the same time the potential for organizing events. On the 2nd floor, under the slope roof, there is also an extra double height amphitheatric space which connects the second and third floor and provides a social outdoor area for the students to gather for outdoor lectures, movies projection, performances, theatre acting or concerts.
As the weather in Cyprus favors outdoor activities throughout the year, a roof garden has been created with covered sitting areas and a more public character. The proposal of EKKY studio architects is aiming at improving the community spirit, the creativity and the organization of student events and gatherings through providing, at the same time, both privacy and comfort.
Architects: EKKY Studio Location: Nicolas, Aglantzia, Cyprus Project Area: 2400 sqm Status: Private Competition – First Prize Stage: In progress Project Year: 2012