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Project timeline

? – 1969

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Residential

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Ayios Dometios Check Point Residential Building Change this

Nicosia, Λευκωσία, Lefkosia
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Agios Dometios, Nicosia Residency

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Unliving along the Nicosia checkpoint

The building is part of the anonymous 1960s suburban modernist development of the Nicosia. It follows most of Le Corbusier’s five points of Architecture; free plan with piloti, facades independent from the structural system, ribbon windows and roof gardens. It is a Greek Cypriot house left behind by its owners in 1974, trapped in the Turkish military fenced-off areas and stripped from all its content. Its location though, makes it different than many other similar structures in the adjacent areas. It is located along the road which is part of check points between the north and south parts of the island crossing the UN demilitarized zone. The check point is in Nicosia, Agios Dometios, opened in 2004.
The Turkish army turned the residential building into a new observation post, profiting from its adjacency to the Agios Dometios Turkish Cypriot checkpoint. The transformed modernist structure into an army post has its doors and windows sealed and its walls all painted white. The flags of Turkey and “TRNC” are painted at the north façade of the house with the plan of the divided island placed between them. The modernist roof terrace was turned into an observation deck with the addition of a white kiosk for the guard and two bamboo made umbrellas. By making visible their authority over the territory to the passing-by car drivers, they brought to the foreground the unseen modernist building. If we take a look at the images of the area taken during the preparation of the crossing, we can see the house at the background before its new appearance. The structure decay since the 1974 war is rather present. An army post is located on its roof terrace, protected with green color barrels.

Comments

Posted by Eleni Michaelidou | Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 | 20:02pm
My parents, and to be more specific the family of mr Frixos Michaelides are the legal owners of this house. The house is in Georgiou Papaverkiou street, Agios Dometios, Ayios Pavlos area. In 1974 we became refugees and we had to abandon our house. During the Turkish Invasion the house was temporarily used by UN as an observation point in the buffer zone, but soon after, the Turkish troops demanded the house by force so they could use it as an observation point. Sadly the UN gave in. Today it looks like the terror/horror they transformed it into and I see no architectural interest in this other than a sad reminder of the crimes committed in Cyprus. Or let's say for some it's a building with an architectural value due to the architecture era and the changes afterwards, for others it's a life time experience. Whatever the case is after my father's passing in 2016 the specific image hurts even more. Thank you for posting the images here so I can show them to the rest members of the family since we chose not to visit our occupied lands, unless they become free.

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