in the cypriot capital of nicosia, french architect jean nouvel has designed a mixed-use tower named ‘white walls’ that climbs to a total height of 67 meters.
standing as a new landmark, the structure’s verticality serves as a visual counterpoint to the horizontality of the surrounding medieval walls, and the moat that encloses the old part of the city. developed in collaboration with local firm takis sophocleous architects, the building houses ten floors of residential apartments, six levels of office space, and a two-storey retail area.
a vertical vegetated landscape covers approximately 80% of the building’s southern façade. serving as a natural ‘brise soleil’, plants act as natural sun-control, shielding apartments and offices in summer while admitting maximum light during winter months. the living façade supports a variety of local plants and continually changes throughout the seasons. at ground level, 400 year old olive trees surround the building, establishing a connection with the adjacent park.
apartments and offices feature loggias that extend living space externally, taking advantage of the region’s temperate climate. on the northern façade, a series of cascading terraces and balconies maximize views towards the city skyline. meanwhile, across eastern and western elevations, the loggias extend inwards to protect inhabitants from noise, wind and sun. concrete walls are punctured by a random array of square openings. this lends the scheme a distinctive appearance, with greenery emerging from internal gardens. on the top two floors of the tower, a duplex apartment is organized around a central courtyard that pays homage to traditional cypriot architecture. three large shades protect the apartment from the strong summer sun, and emphasize views towards the sky.