Visitors Centre, Alikes
Alikes Visitor Centre: The ‘Garden of the Forking Paths’
The project is located at the salt lake of Alikes, a protected area (RAMSA land NATURA 2000 listed) of unique beauty near the city of Larnaca, Cyprus. Due to the uniqueness of the landscape and the purpose of the project, which is a visitor centre, we wanted to create a building that could hide and merge with the environment.
This results in a concept of routes interweaving and crossing with each other that provide various qualities of interior and exterior space.
The primal purpose of the building is to offer the visitor the experience of walking in the landscape and viewing the surrounding beauty from various viewpoints. The steel structure of the building as well as its small distance from the ground ensures the reversibility of the intervention and the recyclability of most of its materials, while it is designed to leave the least possible marks on the landscape.
A surface consisting of steel grating that wraps around the building creates a second skin that controls the intake of air and light in the building. The building adopts sources of renewable energy; a system for biological treatment of waste, while the grey water and rainwater is collected and reused.
PROJECT: Alikes Visitor Centre, 1st prize in open architectural competition and commission
CLIENT: Environment Service, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment
PLACE/TIME: Alikes salt lake, Larnaca, Cyprus, 2009 – ongoing
BUDGET: 1,500,000 E
DESIGN TEAM: Christiana Ioannou, Christos Papastergiou
CONSULTANTS: Eraclis Papachristou, architect, ‘D&K Earthquake Protected Structures’, Nicos Kalathas, civil engineer, ‘Mitsides, Samouil and associates’ electrical and mechanical engineers, ‘Demosthenous & Adamides’, quantity surveyors
COLLABORATORS: Christiana Karagiorgi, architect
Links | exhibitions related to the Alikes V.C.:
Panorama of Greek and Cypriot Architecture Nicosia and Limassol, [Cy], Athens [GR], 2012
6th Biennale of Young Greek Architects, Hellenic Institute of Architecture, Athens GR , Thessaloniki GR 
“Deadline Today! 99 stories on making architectural competitions”, Wonderland
Research Projects 2011, London UK, 2011
14F/21GR, Benaki Museum, Athens, 2012
Links | publications related to the Alikes V.C.:
Cypriot Architecture Panorama, DOMES magazine
SUNJET, ‘Larnaka Looks to the Future’
WORLDWIDE ARCHITECTURE, The Next Generation
Research Projects 2011, The Bartlett
6th Biennale of Greek Young Architects, Catalogue
A10 new European Architecture magazine #14,#26
ARCHEIO architecture magazine #2,#6,#7