MUNICIPAL CULTURAL CENTER PANOS SOLOMONIDIS
The building complex that belongs to Limassol Municipality consists of two constructions; the monumental stone building with pitched roofs and united indoor space, built in the early 20th century and the latest addition of three floors made from reinforced concrete which has been built near the end of 1950.
The buildings are located in Limassol’s traditional neighbourhood, whose main characteristics are its continuous layout and scale of its building blocks. The way the previously mentioned construction was linked once created aesthetic chaos, affecting the whole image of the region, since the bulk of the latest addition was in contact with the south side of the building, completely covering it. On the other hand, the listed building had received occasional interventions which have altered the character of covering traditional materials and elements that characterized by simplicity and symmetry of morphological expression of the building.
The main objective of the decision to restore the cluster of buildings was the revitalization of a central, but quite degraded neighbourhood of the traditional part of the city on one hand, and to repair and upgrade a significant example of Limassol’s urban industrial architecture on the other. The manner and method of the intervention that was suggested, makes it possible to use those buildings as the Cyprus Theatre Museum and Cultural Centre of the city, by simultaneously maintaining all of the characteristics that defines the historical and architectural value of two separate buildings.
This new project is designed to restore the building to its original form and upgrade both its aesthetic and functional transition, so that the two buildings complete each other in a typological, morphological and functional way, all by retaining their own, unique characteristics. Areas are being built in which even the non-expert visitor would be able to recognize and understand the development of all those changes, and even though they’re modern, they allow the harmonious coexistence of both modern and traditional elements.
This becomes attainable by demolishing part of the building and the construction of a ground floor space with a light transparent roof which almost resembles a traditional internal courtyard that serves as a link between the two buildings yet exposes the south side of the building, making it visible and accessible from both the inside and the outside public space. The proportions of this construction and its displacement from the boundary of the area and the two streets surrounding the building make the communal entrance area visible. In addition, the main parts of the building and its modern addition are emphasised.
The final distinctive, morphological simplicity of the two building and the scale of the building blocks incorporate the new harmonious composition in its surroundings whose integral part is the modern and outdoor spaces that have been created for public use.
Restoration’s aim: The restoration and conversion of the old typography centre into a theatrical and cultural centre
Legal status: Listed
Architect/ Designer: Akis Charalambous Partnership, Elli Konstantinidou (architects)
Completion date: July 2010
Total restoration cost: € 2,815,373
Funding: Limassol Municipality – Cyprus Theatre Organisation
Total area: 2,500 sq.m.