The studio objectives are to give an urban role to large scale open spaces that are caught in the expansion of the contemporary urban archipelago. How to live by the edge of such open spaces, of “urban forests”, has become a design challenge, yielding to all sorts of hybrid spatial practices. The students were invited to formulate strategies that manage conflictual conditions between built and unbuilt, between manmade nature and urban environment. Such strategies attributed an active role to the “Urban Forest’s” actors, human and non-human, and explicitly connected them to relevant networks of the larger metropolitan scale of the city. The study area is the Athalassa National Forest Park, located south of Nicosia. It is transformed from a peripheral planted forest to a park full of urban activities, increasingly pressured by the surrounded built environment, especially of public character.
General Urban Design Pedagogical Concept
The purpose of the urban design studio is to encourage students of architecture, at an early stage, to jump up scale and operate simultaneously on a territorial scale and on that of proximity. The notion of designerly urbanity is the main theme to be defined by the research initiated by the students. For the purpose of the design studio the concept of designerly urbanity is considered to be a dynamic relation between four urban conditions: accessibility, sharing, transgressing edges and polarities. The students are divided initially, in four groups addressing each of the four characteristics and introducing into the studio discussion, definitions regarding urbanity’s characteristics. Then, the students are invited to formulate their own brief, about a metropolitan centrality, based on revealed relations between the four characteristics of urbanity, departing always from the one they had started the analysis. The programmatic formulation of their objective is then translated into space with the help of strategies and tactics.