Waterfront redevelopment of ancient Cypriot city creates cruise hub and prestigious marina for the Eastern Mediterranean


International architecture and design practice Scott Brownrigg is submitting a Planning Application to redevelop a 28 hectares city centre site at Larnaca Port and Marina in Cyprus. The project aims to reinvigorate the ancient Byzantine city of Larnaca, transforming it into a major cruise and marine destination at the heart of the Eastern Mediterranean, with a mixed use public waterfront environment rivalling the best the world has to offer. The scheme expands the dilapidated marina to a 950 berth state-of-the-art facility and converts the existing commercial port to combine commercial, mega-yacht and cruise facility uses.  The new cruise berths are located on an off-shore jetty; a strategy unseen outside the Caribbean.

The project is a 35 year Design Build Finance & Operate concession for the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and is being delivered by Zenon Consortium, a diverse group of local and international partners including Bouygues Batiments International, the Port of Amsterdam, Lievense, Costa Crociere, Louis Group, Iacovou Brothers, General Constructions Company, Petrolina, Marinaman and Scott Brownrigg as masterplanners and architects. Preferred Bidder status was achieved in July 2010 and a start on site is likely to be next year, when final negotiations are concluded.

Scott Brownrigg’s over-arching architectural concept for this complex project is for the buildings to share a ‘weightless dynamic’, using mass and folding surfaces to create a rich, organic, harmonious new architecture for Larncka. Scott Brownrigg’s proposal creates an axis from the old castle along the beachfront, to a new concert hall and extensive waterfront park. Ribbons of overlapping boulevards and promenades emanate from the park along the waterfront and boundaries, linking the existing city to the new spaces and buildings. The development provides a complementary extension to the city centre, within a waterfront setting, and comprises 250,000sq m of diverse mixed use components including;

- a new Marina Quarter with a multi-purpose grand piazza for events, exhibitions and outside concerts. The architecture and spaces provide a contemporary dialogue with the adjacent intimate streets and avenues of the old city; the proposal creates a ‘masterplan within the masterplan’ where the ground surface, floors and roofs fold to define different spaces and accommodate rhythmic, dynamic lighting and materials to create an ever-changing, exciting ‘Stage for the City’.

- a striking new Yacht Club, designed as a ‘floating’ open-ended tube of accommodation, links the land to the marina, and is reminiscent of a dry docked sea faring vessel. It will be the central management and operations building as well as a multi purpose event and dining space, with a large infinity pool on its terrace overlooking the marina. The orientation of the building allows the prevailing Westerly wind to flow through the ‘tube’, naturally cooling the interior.

- a new Cruise Terminal Building, will form a gateway to and from the island. The building’s form is derived from its function, and is essentially two overlapping Ls on their sides, which control movement into the building at ground floor and to the cruise ship at first floor, whilst protecting the privacy of the surrounding high rise residences. On the roof, three brightly coloured triangular wind catchers, face the prevalent Westerly wind and direct air into the building, they also form a dynamic, colourful roofscape and marker for incoming passengers from sea and land. The wind catchers appear to be pinched upward, the corresponding holes at ground floor being the lateral openings for loading and unloading baggage through the baggage hall and security systems.

- Marina Basin and Marina Park waterside residences will be low key and sensitive in relation to the existing low-rise immediate context.  The park has been designed to ‘fold up’ the buildings in waves to form green roofs at low level, which change to timber waves to form terraces, brise soleils and roofs looking toward the sea. Each building will have a recessed mid level private pool which will either over look the marina or the sea.

- The Port Promontory’s tall, organic ‘floating’ towers will form a new, instantly identifiable, backdrop and gateway to the city, as they rise from the ground toward the sea along the long port ‘finger’ breakwater. The primarily residential accommodation is set in ‘floating’ shifting plates, with deep recessed banding inspired by the seamed limestone shore front of the island. The deep overhangs protect the fully glazed wrap-around accommodation within from the sun, and shift to create exposed sun decks and sky pools. Plants and creepers fill the terraces and fall down the façade creating a vertical, terraced hillside. These abstract, unique forms will instantly identify Larnaca, forming a dramatic gateway straight into the city for cruise visitors and a highly desirable place to live and work.

All buildings target a BREEAM Excellent rating and will be cooled via passive and geo-thermal sea water systems.

The project is being carried out by Scott Brownrigg’s Limassol office in Cyprus, was established in 2007, and provides local support to the practice’s numerous projects around the Mediterranean.