'Homes for Today and Tomorrow': Britain's Parker Morris Standards and the West Ham Experimental Scheme
Architecture and Culture, Special Issue: Housing and the City (2023)
This paper focuses on the building of an experimental housing project at West Ham, the first to espouse Parker Morris ideals. It does so in order to explore the difficulties involved in realizing these aspirations for housing adaptable enough to allow for acquisitiveness and individual freedom, and to ask why the recommendations of the report seemed so controversial.
In Scale of... a Reference Number
In Scale Of... Series, Canadian Centre of Architecture (2022)
"There are two acts in this text. The first is the act of collection that created the artefact under study, a filing box housed in the vaults of the CCA library. The second is an act of translation: one of many - infinite and indefinite if the box is properly preserved - that occur whenever the box reopens. To enable both acts, the box has a reference number..."
Letting me Decay. Letting you Forget?
Ruination in Peace in the Wounded Landscape of Cyprus
Architecture Research: The Artifice of Redress (2021), 145-169.
"... Once a cosmopolitan tourism resort offering glimpses of modernity and the prospect of a prosperous future for the newly independent Cyprus in the 1960s, the enclosure of Varosha forever altered the meanings of the place: ruins of a glamorous past; ruins of war, occupation, and militarisation; ruins of abandonment and human absence, as well as ruins that can be profitable to a tourist's voyeuristic gaze... In this plurality of meanings, there is always the possibility for the system to operate in contrasting manners, in which any 'other' world can rise and prevail."
Hidden Forms of Sovereignty on the Divided Island of Cyprus
Planetary Governance, Strelka Magazine (August 2021)
"...The case of Cyprus, and this text alike, reveals itself as a site of multiple, overlapping, and nested realities that contemplate forms of sovereignty and jurisdiction through which several aspects of the island’s geographic location and characteristics have been capitalised throughout the years to accommodate military occupation—unwillingly following the 1974 war but also willingly, as the country retains two UK sovereignty bases even after its independence from a British colony in 1960—as well as financial benefits from tourism development to offshore “safety boxes” and citizenship-by-design schemes. There exists not one world, but multiple worlds, each operating with their own logic, fiction, and boundaries of inclusion or exclusion of information..."
Enjoy your Quarantine!
Field notes from a quarantine hotel in Cyprus, Leisurescpaes Archive (June 2020).
"For many places around the world, quarantine is accommodated in designated facilities by the state, such as hotels. With the Oxford English Dictionary defining hotel as “an establishment providing accommodation, meals, and other services for travellers and tourists,” the typology of a hotel flexibly allows them to turn into suitable quarantine sites: the provision of small rooms of adequate size for short and long-term accommodation along with some common areas that you may or may not enter. This shift, beyond its social project in alleviating the spreading of the disease, came as an alternative to mitigate the pandemic-imposed collapse in the upcoming tourist season, which in places such as the island of Cyprus, unavoidably could be detrimental."
Council Housing in the Age of Property-Owning Democracy and the Parker Morris Standards (1961-1981)
Conference Proceedings, Architecture and Democracy 1965-1989: Urban Renewal, Populism, and the Welfare State, Jaap Bakema Study Centre - Het Nieuwe Instituut and TU Delft BK Bouwkunde (2019), 134-140.
"... Indeed, the affluence of the golden 1960s upgraded a large part of the working class population to claim their status as 'classless', anticipating the infamous declaration of the 1990s 'we are all middle class now'. However, by the late 1960s, the seeming affluence was already troubling with a failing economy, rising unemployment, and several other issues, including a growing number of immigrants in need for housing, racial division, unresolved slum clearance programmes, poverty, and homelessness. It was an unfortunate timing for the recommendations of the Parker Morris Report, which remained infeasible for both the council housing and the private enterprie, which could not build in these sizes and retain affordable rents..."
The Age of Fragmentation: Thank you for not sharing
Pidgin 24: The Princeton Architecture Journal (2018), 96-106.
"...The projects mentioned in this paper reveal the tendency to withdraw from the system in order to demolish it... The architectural project needs to identify a space in between individual autonomy and collective responsibility to demarcate the edges between flexibility and abstraction, and to ascertain a balance between agonistic approaches and manipulative acts. Architecture becomes a form of subjectivity, a kind of mechanism that is indirect, innocent, and illusive, but simultaneously holds the capacity to be direct, truthful, and liberating. This fragile duality calls the architects to redefine the discipline's boundaries once more.
Unintended Heritage in Conflict
with Panayiota Pyla
Modern Heritage in the Anthropocene Proceedings (2022).
This paper discusses three modes of modernity in twentieth-century Cyprus, highlighting the way conflict becomes apparent through architectural heritage. It focuses on the Ledra Palace Hotel (1949), which in many ways, since its inception, has become the locus of Cyprus's modern political traumas. By tracing the life of the Ledra Palace Hotel - from a glorious hotel to an abandoned relic - this paper reflects on a transition from human landscapes to future post-human realities.
Designing Playspaces for the Emerging Society of Car Owners in postwar Council Housing in Britain
studies in History and Theory of Architecture no. 9 (2021), 116-131.
By critically interrogating the antagonisms and conflicting interests that surface through processes of laying out standards for playspaces and car parks, this paper discusses the entwinement of state's agendas, market's incentives, and the individual tenants' aspirations in formulating them. Looking at these two elements as extensions of the home, this paper sheds light on the complexity of shaping and planning the late postwar housing estate in Britain. It also reflects on the way daily habits and values influence the way official decisions and space standards are taken.
A Dome and a Line in a Dot
with Anny Stephanou
Anachoresis: Cyprus Pavilion Exhibition Catalogue (November 2021), 102-104.
"...Sometimes, breaking that fourth wall might feel futile; it is after all inherent in human's nature to form boundaries. However, there is always the option to look through that wall in the same manner [Buckminster] Fuller embraced his blurry vision; a friction that enabled his intuitive, and creative mind to invent."
More than a Hotel: The Ledra Palace Through Stories of Tourism and Modernism
with Petros Phokaides and Panayiota Pyla
Ledra Palace: Dancing on the Line Exhibition Catalogue (May 2021) 46-61 [In Greek and English].
"It was in the 1930s when Cyprus saw the appearance of a few luxury hotels adept at accommodating the increasing number of visitors to this colonial territory. The capital city of Nicosia gained its own symbol of modern tourism in 1949: the Ledra Palace Hotel... Along with its architectural grandeur, the hotel embodied a complex history, being a crucial hub of 1950s urban life entwined with a long decolonisation process, tourism development and socio-political contestations..."
How to Start Your Own Country. (But could you really?)
PLAT 0.9 Commit (2020), 28-35.
"... Urged by the incident of Liberland, one can trace a synchronic correlation between the 1960s and today, where how-to architectural cookbooks and design activism have been replaced by participatory online platforms for designing cities... Online participation, as a means of formulating the city, acts as a mechanism to empower the self to undertake the responsibility of decision-making strategies and tactics. A critical question becomes whether this sense of empowerment is a deceptive illusion of freedom, behind which lies the inevitable control that the physical reality of the city entails. Could we all start our own country, our own city, our own world? ..."
Scroope 28: Concinnitas
Edited volume with Yasmina El Chami
The Cambridge Architectural Journal (2019)
"Borrowed from the art of rhetoric, Leon Battista Alberti used concinnitas to describe the inherent beauty of nature from which architecture ought to be inspired... If there is, perhaps, a common trajectory among architects, the demiourges of form, it is that design and the consistent desire of architecture to reach 'beauty' is never achieved in the same way. It is a composition, a negotiation, a combination, a juxtaposition, a dialogue, a conflict of at least two parts, that together construct a 'whole'... Scroope 28 gathers contributions that propose a new genealogy of concinittas, including critical and theoretical explorations of the term, as well as reinterpretations by practicing architects, that attempt to mediate the interdisciplinary nature of architectural discourse and the complex processes that shape contemporary architectural praxis..."
Border Conditions: Sightseeing in Contested Varosha
InForma #12: Site Conditions (2019), 204-215.
"How can a prohibited and enclosed military zone be changed back into an attractive place for sightseeing? This essay explores Varosha (Cyprus), one of the most cosmopolitan tourist resorts in the Mediterranean during the 1960s, which was transformed into a prohibited military zone in 1974... This paper describes how the voyeristic fascination of tourists to get closer to this prohibited zone has enticed the locals to improvise tourism practices along the zone's perimeter, thus furthering the complexities of the juxtaposed landscapes of militarism and tourism..."