The aim of the studio was the design of a “diffused aeropolis”. The studio concentrated on the creation of multiple urban connections between airport and city, to take advantage of the increasing importance of airports to their hosted cities. Plus, to avoid creating isolated enclaved urban environments, (aeropolis) which usually come with airport activities. A potential “diffused aeropolis” is the area around the Larnaca International Airport. Its proximity with the natural reserve area of salt lakes and with the sea, creates additional environmental challenges. In fact, the airport was literally placed on the lakes by the Colonial British and then adopted by the Republic of Cyprus and largely extended in late 1970s to replace the inactive International Nicosia Airport that was frozen in the buffer zone after the Turkish invasion. The students were invited to propose new mediating ways for the edges between the natural reserve area, the sea, the urban agglomeration and the airport infrastructure. They proposed forms of urbanity that allow new synergies and proximities even of conflictual uses, diminishing negative impact and managing conflicts as part of their design.
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 seeking a role to architecture for the city, (architecture-as-urbanism). For the purpose of the urban 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 separated, in four dynamic groups addressing each of the four characteristics and introducing definitions regarding urbanity’s characteristics into the studio debate. Further on, 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 their analysis. The programmatic formulation of their objectives is then translated into space with the support of strategies and tactics.