The first prize winning competition proposal for the Fishing Boat Harbor and ‘River’ of Liopetri was designed by the collaborative effort of architects Iereidis Vasilis, Michael Aimilios, Zomas Alexandros, Mitakou Eleni, Raisi Alexia, Hatzopoulos Dimitris, Fanou Paraskevi, and Lada Anastasia. With the challenge for a proposal that would provide all the necessary facilities for the fishing boat harbor and create a park that focuses on environmental education, this design stands as a binary between experience and function. As an outcome there are no clear boundaries between the fishing boat harbor and the park or in that sense between any other of the proposed interventions. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The site is located at the shore of south eastern Cyprus, between the towns of Larnaca and Agia Napa and it measures 42 hectares. It is predominantly agricultural and aligned on either sides of a dry river bed that reaches the sea at a point where a natural fiord like bay is formed. The diverse geological surroundings and the ragged Mediterranean flora of the area form an undoubted unique landscape.
Cyprus’ s Mediterranean climate with the mild winters and hot and arid summers forced us to thing outside the box in the attempt to design for a sustainable environment . The space itself gave the means, because while studying it became apparent that this could only be achieved by exploring the simplicity of the surroundings as a notion for designing.
The landscape is approached as a whole and undivided entity, a place of experience , where nature and the naïf agricultural landscape are ever-present. Space is inscribed as the subtle interpretation of local culture in the form of a seemingly un-designed landscape, that unobtrusively engages the visitor through a plethora of stimuli that try to evoke his or hers memory. The functional part receives a secondary role as to serve the objectives above. The program is spread in space forming islands of activities and services, in a way as not to obstruct the paths and the freedom of the visitor to move freely in the landscape.
Space is designed as to contain more than a single function and this is implied in all design scales. First attempt is to involve the region where the project is situated. As space is conceived as an infinite movement within the boundaries of the site, we found that it would be contradictory to our initial approach not to relate to the nearby settlements. Thus the proposal is organized first at a regional level. The main paths created lead also to specific points of the site where the visitor can follow a path beyond it. This points are the beds of two dried up creeks that cross the site and also if followed upstream can lead the visitor to villages close by through the original farmland and practices that formed unintentionally the landscape of the island in the centuries. This rightful passage though is intended to act in reverse as well in trying to involve and inform the locals of the merits and the significance of their environment and the history of their topos.
In regard to the onsite proposal the main concern had to do with the handling of the three striking characteristic that it bears. The terrain, that is unique in all of Cyprus and it becomes the main attraction for any visitor that arrives at the site. The flora of the area that is surprisingly diverse in regard to the total area of the site. Within meters of each other one can appreciate flora typical of seaside environments, of creeks, farmland, Mediterranean scrubs growing out of rocks and a seaside pine forest.
The small scale structures that gradually filled the canal. These vernacular structures were put together by the fishermen in regard to each other’s specific needs on how to moor their boats and unload and safeguard their produce and material. The structures, with their clumsy and cheap construction, form points of interest within the landscape, they bridge the line between land and sea and they add up as viewing platforms.To better implement the above the study focus on two areas, the Environmental Education Park and the Fishermen’s harbor.
Setting up the park it was crucial to maintain the principle by which different species are to coexist. These were scattered in the landscape in an attempt to form a pattern that is to be read and perceived as a whole. The final outcome tries to by accumulated within the original landscape. In specific points the fluidity of the movement is altered by viewing points, service and leisure areas or points of more dense or organized flora. These areas are along the main east to west path and they form more open or dense spaces by utilizing different plants and their attributes.
The little harbor is an attempt to reinterpret the indigenous structures. The design draws from them the expressionist stand in space, that every time forms a different choral situation. The proposed construction techniques to be used aim to minimize any alterations to the environment and terrain. Their carbon footprint is kept to low and measures are taken in order for the structures to be able to be removed completely from the area by the time that have fulfilled their function and be fully recyclable.
Architects: Iereidis Vasilis, Michael Aimilios, Zomas Alexandros, Mitakou Eleni, Raisi Alexia, Hatzopoulos Dimitris, Fanou Paraskevi, Lada Anastasia
Location: Liopetri, Cyprus
Competition Status: 1st prize
Project Year: 2011