The Student Ideas Competition sought ideas for adaptive reuse/revitalization of the Old Bazaar (Bandabulya) located in the center of Girne, Cyprus. New functions, image and branding could leverage the use of this magnificent historic structure for a vibrant city life – much needed in this aging neighborhood close to the port.
The winning student team, led by Dr. Rada Doytcheva, FAIA, developed the concept of the B-Box – a people and culture connector. It is the gathering place for students, visitors and residents in the contemporary multi-ethnic environment of Cyprus. “Thinking inside the box” (of the B-Box) is the multi-use PLAYSPACE – with students inhabiting during the day, while visitors and resident – keeping this area alive at night. Reconfigurable installations would allow conversion from a collaborative learning center, to an events and food venue. “Thinking outside the box” (of the B-Box) is the URBAN CONNECTOR expression. The building becomes a focal point – a canvas for light shows at night with a kinetic light top lantern reminiscent of the sea lighthouses. The street pavement pattern penetrates the building and is replicate in the building interior, as are the streetscape fixtures, thus drawing in a flow of intrigued visitors. The concept also calls for converting the street into a pedestrian link for people’s enjoyment and recreation along their way to and from the port area.
Girne is located on the northern coast, where many cultures historically made Cyprus their home going back to 4th c. BC. The setting is conducive to exploring new visions for old and new coexisting, as well as adaptive reuse of important cultural and historic structures. Northern Cyprus is also the home to 12 universities, which are the engine of economic vitality together with a booming tourism and port industry.