White Walls by Jean Nouvel, Cyprus



From the architect

The iconic tower designed by Jean Nouvel at the center of Nicosia, next to Eleftheria Square transforms the city silhouette of Nicosia. The program includes 10- story residential apartments, a 6-story office space and a 2-story retail area. This verticality in relation to the horizontality of the medieval walls and the moat that enclose the old part of the city sets the stage for a series of inversions that are characteristic of the building. The 67 meter high building will be the culminating landmark of the city.
On the south façade a vertical landscape covers approximately 80% of the building’s façade area. This exceptional living environment is working like a natural “brise soleil”. The plants will act as a natural sun control shielding the apartments and the offices from direct sun during summer while admitting a maximum of sunlight in winter. This “living “façade” supports a variety of Cypriote climbing and spreading plants and will be continually transformed by the cyclic movements of the different seasons. 400 years old olive trees continue this vertical landscape on the perimeter of the building. It creates the link to the adjacent urban park and gets a part of the scenery of the city. The apartments and office feature indoor/outdoor loggias that extend the living space outside to take maximum advantage of Nicosia’s temperate climate.
On the north façade, the loggias extend out to take maximum advantage of views toward the park and the city skyline. A series of cascading terraces and large balconies acknowledge the Mediterranean climate and the significance of spending time outside.
On the east and west façade the loggias extend in from the pixelated concrete walls façade to protect residents and office occupiers from noise, wind and sun.
Punctured by a random array of openings, sometimes glazed sometimes left open, especially in the garden areas, the massiveness of the walls is negated by the numerous perforations. Interesting shadow games determine the exterior and interior space in relation to the different sun position of the day. An accumulation of voids and windows shaped by a size of 0,40m x 0,40m creates a unique screen image from the outside and inside point of view. At night the wall as a giant screen is pronouncing the inhabitants light needs and strengthen even more the random system of the facade.
On the top two floors of the tower, a duplex apartment is organized around a central court-yard inspired by the Cypriot traditional architecture. Three large shades protect the apartment from the summer sun and emphasize the view to the sky.
The project will push the integration of landscape and tower architecture to a new level and offer Nicosia a new architectural icon that symbolizes the city’s future.


STATUS Built; completed in April 2015
LOCATION The White Walls (Tower 25), Stasinou 6, 1065, Nicosia, Cyprus
ARCHITECTURAL TEAM Jean NOUVEL – Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris, FR)
LOCAL ARCHITECTS Takis Sophocleous Architects (Anastasia KOUMOULIDOU, Demetris SOPHOCLEOUS)
Concept Design: Philippe PAPY
Studies and Construction: Elisabeth KATHER
Structure: KAL Engineering (Lysandros KYRIACOU)
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Fire: MITSIDES SAMOUHL & PARNTNERS
Quantity surveyor: NICOLAOU & KONNIDES
CONTRACT TYPE Commission, full design services
PROGRAM Retail, apartment and office tower : 2 levels retail area, 6 levels office area, 10 levels apartment area

Jean Nouvel jean_nouvel_photo_594_624_80_c1_c_c_0_0_1

1945 Born in Fumel, Lot-et-Garonne (France)
1966 Admitted first in the entrance examination for the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts, Paris (France)
1967 Assistant to Claude Parent and Paul Virilio
1970 – 1971 Wins competition for “Site naturel création architecturale”
1970 – 1972 Associates with François Seigneur
1972 Receives diploma from the Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris (France)
1972 – 1981 Associates with François Seigneur and Gilbert Lézénès
1976 Co-founder of the French Architectural Movement “Mars 1976”
1977 Co-founder of the Syndicat de l’architecture, contributes to the organization of the international competition for the Halles district in Paris (France)
1980 Founder and Artistic Counsellor of the Architecture Biennale within the Paris Biennale (France)
1981 – 1984 Associates with Gilbert Lézénès and Pierre Soria
1981 Wins competition for the Arab World Institute, one of the “Great Projects” ordered by former President Francois Mitterrand
1984 – 1989 Founder of Jean Nouvel et Associés (Jean Nouvel, Jean-Marc Ibos, Myrto Vitart, Emmanuel Blamont)
1989 – 1994 Founder of JNEC (Jean Nouvel and Emmanuel Cattani)
1994 Establishes Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Ateliers Jean Nouvel (AJN)

descriptionAteliers Jean Nouvel (AJN) is one of the largest architecture practices in France, with over 30 active projects all over the world, year 2015 billings of 27 M€, and a multicultural staff of 150 professionals from the domains of architecture, urban design, landscape design, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, model making and image production. Jean Nouvel has built museums, concert halls, conference centers, theaters, hotels, collective housing, office buildings, commercial centers, and private residences around the world.
Jean Nouvel is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative architects. His projects transform the landscapes in which they are built, often becoming major urban events. His unique approach, driven by the specificities of context, program and site, has proven effective in projects such as the Arab World Institute in Paris, Lyon’s Opera House, Lucerne’s Culture and Congress Center (Switzerland), the Vinci Conference Center in Tours, the extension of the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid (Spain), the Soho Apartments in New York, Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater (United States of America), the Agbar Tower in Barcelona (Spain), Copenhagen’s Danish Radio Concert Hall (Denmark), the Quai Branly Museum in Paris. Most recently, numbers of new built projects strengthened AJN influence, such as Tour Horizons in Boulogne-Billancourt, Montpellier City Hall, Hôtel Sofitel in Vienna (Austria), Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona (Spain), Imagine Institute in Paris, Tour WHite Walls in Nicosia (Cyprus) or One Central Park in Sydney (Australia), awarded CTBUH Best Tall Building 2014.
Jean Nouvel’s international recognition favored numbers of projects currently under studies or under construction, such as the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC) in Beijing (China), the National Museum of Qatar in Doha, the Musée du Louvre Abu Dhabi (United Arabs Emirates), the Ardmore and Anderson Towers in Singapore, DNP Tower in Kuala Lumpur or a real estate complex in Lima (Peru). AJN won important international competition, such as the Philharmonie de Paris or Charleroi’s Police Headquarters (Belgium). Many cities have entrusted AJN for their urban plans, such as Boulogne-Billancourt (Ile Seguin), Prague (Czech Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Tangier (Morocco), Toledo or Vigo (Spain).
François Fontès, president since may 2014, Jules Nyssen, appointed Chief executive officer in january 2016, and Diane Clerc, Managing Director, give AJN their expert knowledge of the world of architecture and construction. The new board allows Jean Nouvel to dialog with our clients during the whole process of architectural design.
Our main office is located in Paris. Site offices are currently located in Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Geneva and Rome.


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