SUPPORTING THE REGENERATION OF NICOSIA THROUGH ART, CULTURE AND FAMILY VALUES
A public gallery for the private collection of the AG Leventis Foundation, the building places the foundation at the cultural heart of Nicosia. The foundation supports educational, cultural and philanthropic causes which promote Hellenic culture.
The Leventis Gallery and apartments are designed to create an environment that is comfortable, provides the ideal conditions for the artworks and minimises energy use.
The architecture, though essentially a sculpted form, is ultimately about city connections and the idea of a gallery as demonstrably public and of its place.
Jay Merrick for Architects' Journal
BALANCING LIGHT AND SHADE
Leventis is inspired by traditional Cypriot architecture of local stone with small, shuttered openings which exclude the fierce heat in summer but open to allow the winter sun to penetrate.
The building has a heavyweight structure with openings carefully shaded by metal screens. We were inspired by William Morris’ olive leaf design, and used it an abstracted pattern in the perforated metal screens. As the screens are adjusted to admit, or exclude the sun, the bronze anodised aluminium appears almost the same colour as the stone, and the apparent solidity of the building is transformed.
Geothermal energy is harnessed via cast-in coils to provide background heating and cooling with a constant temperature of 20 degrees celsius
LAYERS OF HISTORY
The Leventis Gallery is located outside the Venetian walls of Nicosia, in an area originally developed under the guidance of Lord Kitchener in the late 19th century.
The site is adjoined by neighbours of different generations – from the two storey villas of the nineteenth century to commercial towers of the 21st century. Our building mediates between these extremes in height, material and approach, to heals the disjunction in the grain of the city.