The arc-periodic Housing Infrastructure in Nicosia, Cyprus

Paper published in: ed. Christakis Chatzichristou and Kirsten Day, Housing the Future. International Perspectives on Housing – Theory, Practice, Design and Education. Series Editor: Graham Cairns. Oxfordshire, UK: Libro Publishing, 2017. Platon Issaias with Giannis Papadopoulos.

Platon Issaias
Giannis Papadopoulos
Collectivity, Domesticity, Housing, Infrastructure, Pedagogy

The paper presented the 7th semester design studio in the School of Architecture, University of Cyprus, of the fall semester of the academic year 2015-16. The studio proposed a rather open brief, aiming to problematize the domestic in the context of the south part of the island. We asked the students to design an infrastructure for periodic/temporary housing in the city of Nicosia, leaving many parameters open for the participants to define according to their own brief. The part of the city, the specific plot or network of plots, the actual size of the building(s), the typological logic, and of course the primary unit or units had to be outlined according to the social subject the project aimed to address and formalize. Apart from a few crucial numbers – number of units (up to 100), number of inhabitants (200), area devoted to housing (2000sqm) and public programmes (60% of the previous) – all other issues of density, diffusion and organization had to reflect the intentions of each project. Moreover, the public character and use of the complex or the network of the proposed buildings was essential, since we considered these as central to the nature of the housing infrastructure we asked our students to develop. The levels of privacy and publicness, the organization of circulation and the extent of which otherwise typical domestic facilities could expand as communal uses into the public realm were also left as open questions for the students to respond to. The students were called to research the crucial transformations of contemporary forms of living and the fundamental shifts occurring in the domestic environments across the world. New forms of work and labour, co-sharing, multi-generational housing, and of course extreme conditions of inequality in regards to access to decent housing are clear indications of an acute crisis, a visible result of neoliberal, planetary urbanization.

Image credits:

Andreas Birros, Laoura Tziourrou ‘2.20 x 17’.
University of Cyprus, Department of Architecture, ‘The Arc’, fall semester 2015-16

[link to the book]


Fatura Collaborative – Research & Design Practice, was founded in 2009 and is developing projects across a wide range of scales, from intimate objects and performance, to architecture, urban design and planning. We are interested in architecture as social infrastructure, in developing collective equipments, in the design of spaces of care, empathy and welfare. We design and research expanding new problematics about ecology, the domestic, everyday life and the city.



is an architect, researcher and educator based in London. She holds a diploma in architecture from the School of Architecture of the University of Patras, Greece (2015) and was awarded a PhD from the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art (2022). Her thesis dealt with the materiality of grassroots, ad hoc and mutual aid projects by social movements in Europe and the United States, with an emphasis on their relationship with the state. She is teaching in undergraduate architectural design studios and history and theory courses at the London South Bank University and Central Saint Martins. She is also a registered architect in the UK (ARB) and Greece (TCG) and has practiced architecture in London, Madrid and Athens.


is an architect, researcher, and educator. He studied architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece, and holds an MSc from Columbia University and a PhD from TU Delft and The City as a Project research collective. He is Assistant Professor of Architectural Design at the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He is the co-Head of Projective Cities MPhil programme at the Architectural Association, where he is also teaching Diploma Unit 7 with Georgia Hablützel and Hamed Khosravi. His research interests explore urban design and architecture in relation to the politics of labour, economy, law and labour struggles. He has written and lectured extensively about Greek urbanisation and the politics of urban development.


(he/him) is an architect and educator. He serves as Curator, Heinz Architectural Center, at Carnegie
Museum of Art and Special Faculty at Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture. He studied
architecture in Athens, Greece, and holds a Master of Science in Architecture and Urbanism from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on architecture at the intersection of
human rights, conflict, and the provision of shelter. This interest led to his PhD dissertation
“Architectures of the Humanitarian Front” (2021, Yale University), which examined a period
around WWI when conflict, displacement, and territorial insecurity provoked the reconfiguration
of humanitarian operations –their spatial organization and ethical imperatives.


is an architect based in Lund, Sweden. He graduated in 2010 from the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens and holds an MSc in Energy Efficient and Environmental Building Design from the School of Architecture of Lund University (2015). He has practiced architecture as a freelance architect in Greece and currently in Sweden (eg. Tengbom architects), where he works on a wide range of projects including small houses, larger residential complexes as well as care, educational and industrial facilities.


is an architect and an educator. She graduated in 2007 from the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She holds the MSc in Advanced Architectural Design from GSAPP, Columbia University (2008) and a PhD from the Architectural Association – School of Architecture, London (2016). She is currently an Assistant Professor of History and Theory of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has previously taught at the Architectural Association and the University of Westminster and practiced as an architect in New York and Athens.


is an architect based in Thessaloniki. She graduated from the School of Architecture of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2015 and holds an MSc in Environmental Architectural and Urban Design from the same institution (2023). Since 2017, she has been collaborating with a group of freelance engineers, working on a variety of residential, workspace, and small-scale digital fabrication projects. Her special interests lie in urban and architectural design practices that promote spatial justice.