Eraclis Papachristou: "We wanted to give the city a building that would enrich its skyline"

The emblematic Labs Tower in Nicosia won the Leading Architectural Project Award at the 2nd Cyprus Architecture Awards. Here, the Director of Eraclis Papachristou Architects, Eraclis Papachristou, talks about his inspiration and vision, as well as navigating the housing crisis and the impact of technology in the architectural space.

How did the undertaking of the Labs Tower design come about and what was the inspiration behind it?

The project’s design was assigned directly by its owner Teddy Sagi, with the aim of designing a mixed-use building which however would be used mostly for office work. I would say Nicosia needs to incorporate high-rise buildings in the town’s centre in a more organised and urbanistically correct way. Taking this into account, we wanted to give the city a building that would enrich its skyline, i.e. enrich its image on a large scale, but at the same time offer a spatial experience to the users of the building who now have a different visual relationship with the city.

How is the general housing crisis, stemming from price increases resulting in difficulties buying/building real estate, handled from the architects’ point of view?

Architects are called upon to provide creative solutions through proposals with fairly tight budgets and this can often enhance creative expression. However, there should be a line where the necessary quality standards are met so that a building has the minimum quality characteristics, a subject which especially in developing is under pressure.

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Roei Barda, CEO of Labs Tower, and Eraclis Papachristou

What challenges does technology, such as artificial intelligence and the wider green development trend, affect you work currently?

Artificial intelligence, as far as I can see and understand, is a topic that will affect human activity as a whole and not just architectural design. I would say that so far, design ideas can be produced – that is images and not design proposals for implementation – but this doesn’t mean this cannot be achieved in the future. “Green” development, sustainable buildings and designs are what’s happening now. This matter, whether it has to do with materials or design, preoccupies us a lot and is one of the most important parameters of our architectural ideas.

What is your vision for the architecture of the next years?

I would say that always and in the future, architecture has a clear goal, to produce spaces that offer spatial experiences.

Quick personal facts:

  • I draw inspiration from: Sculpting and art in general.
  • Which architect do you admire? Peter Zumthor
  • Favourite architectural project in Cyprus and abroad: In Cyprus, the Winery we designed in Kalopanayiotis, and abroad, I will mention Plaza of Kanagawa in Japan by Junya Ishigami, which I recently visited.
  • The architectural approach I follow is: To identify in our office space the heritage of modernism and its contemporary manifestations in the local context of Cyprus.
  • The top three architectural trends for 2024 are:

- Buildings with environmental awareness.

- Buildings in conversation with the SPACE.

- The search for materiality.

Details of the architectural office responsible for Labs Tower:

Name: E. PAPACHRISTOU ARCHITECTS LLC

Founded: 1998

Number of staff: 35

Projects it specialises in: Public and Private Buildings on all scales.

Profile of the project that was awarded:

Architects

ΕRACLIS PAPACHRISTOU ΑRCHITECTS LLC

Eraclis Papachristou

Elia Ioannou

Marios Papademetri

Demetris Savva

Stella Parpa

Thalia Efstathiou

Charis Iacovou

Nikoletta Theophanous

Project Manager

PMI – PROJECT MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL

Demetris Roussos

Yiannis Roussos

Civil Engineer

Nikos Kalathas

D&K EPS LLC

Engineer

Prokopis Polydorou

POLYPRO ΒUILDING SERVICES CONSULTING ENGINEER

Electrician

Nicos Nicolaou

NN DOUBLE N

Quantity Surveyor

GEORGE A. PAPADOPOULOS

Lighting Adviser

Dakis Sevastides

ARCHTUBE LTD

Fire Safety Adviser

Spyros Spyrou

INT FIRE CYPRUS LTD

Sound Engineer

G&N SCHUBERT CONSULTANTS I.K.E

ACCA ACOUSTICS & CARGO LTD

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