The abandoned Germanina Estate in Western Cyprus is the subject of a refurbishment competition with the proposal for an interactive botanical park by ONOFFICE snatching the first-place award.
The competition aims to rehabilitate the estate and incorporate a listed 19th-century agricultural complex into the contemporary urban life of Gerospikou.
The estate has been abandoned for the last 50 years and located between surrounding urban fabrics of the mainland and coastal tourism development. The competition sought architectural solutions for the restoration of the existing buildings, maximising the built area with the addition of new structures and programmatic proposals. The design goal was to transform the site into a regional landmark with contemporary uses and at the same time preserve the character of the landscape and the typology of the historic complex.
The proposal by ONOFFICE transforms the agricultural estate into a botanical park. Cultural, educational and recreational facilities create a multifunctional core for long-term conservation of the site's natural and built heritage. The program includes workshops, seminar rooms, restaurants, shops, a wellness centre, a museum and a chapel. The existing buildings scattered around the courtyard are designed to be extended and fill a series of voids, intensifying the enclosure and unifying a series of independent structures into a cohesive composition.
One new building was designed for the complex, a thematic museum placed behind the main courtyard. By manipulating the topography, the museum submerges partially into the ground allowing the landscape to continue over its roof creating an artificial hill with views to the sea and the rest of the park. The cultural axis is a linear pathway that connects the museum entrance with the building enclosure and an open-air theatre that faces back towards the park.
The area over the museum’s roof and around the estate is transformed into a botanical garden planted with a mix of native species from Eastern Mediterranean countries. Eight plant communities differentiated with unique chromatic and morphological palettes symbolize the natural topography of western Cyprus and the relationship between valleys and hills, land and sea, urban and agricultural landscapes.
Via ArchDaily | Courtesy of ONOFFICE