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Varosha Check Point Residential Building

Famagusta, Magusa, Ammokhostos, Cyprus
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Varosha, Famagusta, Residency

Unliving along the Varosha checkpoint

The building is part of the 1960s suburban modernist development of Famagusta. 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 area of Varosha 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 about to open connecting Famagusta with Derynia.
The road stretching to the city centre from the Famagusta Derynia new check point, passes along the back side of the fenced-off area, at its west edge, revealing another urban reality. Along the road, we can still see the military fence, but instead of the coastal high-rise buildings we are faced with sprawled empty suburban detached houses, just behind the fence. When we move further south along the road towards the checkpoint, we run into a modernist house rather faithful to the Villa Savoye architectural paradigm. It is designed and owned by the architect Lordos in 1964, according to a Euronews documentary of July 18th 2014. The building stands on piloti with recessed ground floor, ribbon like windows and an apparently generous roof terrace, with an interior and exterior access. Two pine trees, probably of the same age of the building, have grown just next to it. One of them has been pushed outside the fenced off city after the recent widening of the road leading to the Derynia check point. At the background, we can see the frozen suburbia of Famagusta with empty lots and single family buildings.

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stratiss, February 7th, 2019
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