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 and researcher based in London. She studied architecture in Patras, Greece, and currently is a PhD candidate at the School of Architecture at the Royal College of Art in London. Her research focuses on the intersections between social movements and the state apparatus, and centers around the ad-hoc infrastructures created for welfare provision during periods of crisis. She has practiced architecture in the UK and worked in the housing, healthcare, and education sectors in collaboration with public authorities and established architectural practices. Prior to London, Elisavet gained experience as an architect in Athens and Madrid.


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 the director of Projective Cities MPhil programme at the Architectural Association, where he is also teaching Diploma Unit 7 with Hamed Khosravi. Previously, he has taught at the Berlage Institute (Netherlands), in the MArch Urban Design programme at the Bartlett, the RCA, Syracuse University and the University of Cyprus. His research interests explore urban design and architecture in the 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.


is an architect and educator, and recently joined the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art as Associate Curator. He earned his diploma of Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and an SMarchS degree from MIT. Since 2009, he has been practicing as a founding member of Fatura Collaborative, an architecture and research collective. His PhD dissertation, “Architectures of the Humanitarian Front” (Yale University), explores the nexus of humanitarian organizations and architecture and their relation to conflict, displacement and the provision of shelter.


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.


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). In June 2016, she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the Architectural Association. Her thesis dealt with the transition towards abstraction in art and architecture during the end of 19th and early 20th centuries, with an emphasis on interwar architectural modernism in Germany. Alexandra has been teaching at the AA since 2012, where she is currently a studio master in the First Year Studio of the Experimental Programme and a Programme Coordinator and Course tutor in the MArch Architecture & Urbanism (DRL) programme. She has practiced as an architect in New York and Athens.