SALT LAKE CITY (LARNACA TeQnopolis)
Location: Cyprus – Larnaca
Plot Size: 29.518m²
Built Surface Area: 33.136m² + 32.800m² Underground Parking / Services
Construction Date: Work In Progress
Rising up to 75m above sea level, with uninterrupted and vanishing views of the entire Larnaca city, the Larnaca Salt Lake and the Mediterranean Sea, the Larnaca Technopolis Project (formerly known as Salt Lake City) is to become the biggest and greenest mix use project on the island.
In constant evolution and upgrade since being awarded the International Best Mix Use Development in Europe title in 2019 (as Salt Lake City), the ongoing concept remains under constant redesign due to the new parameters and requests of the various international investors.
Larnaca Technopolis consists of the following functions, services and facilities distributed vertically amongst two high rise towers and horizontally amongst independent perimeter blocks:
16.800m² of luxury apartments of which 15.122m² are interior areas, 1.819m² sky balconies and 2.136m² sky gardens.
9.750m² of tower offices, of which 8.462m² are interior areas, 938m² conference and seminar rooms, 860m² sky balconies and 630m² sky gardens.
6.200m² of retail blocks, of which 3.304m² are interior areas and 2.703m² roof gardens.
16.442m² of ground floor landscaped gardens and green areas, themed with local vegetation and vast extents of water surfaces.
32.800m² of underground services, of which 9.688m² are allocated to 775 parking spaces, 3.766m² to storage purposes and 926m² to a wellness spa centre.
The large scale masterplan environmental approach consisting of landscaped gardens and green areas, in relation to the ecological approach and direct relevance with the environmental friendly architectural concepts such as renewable energy sources and sky gardens, make of this project the greenest high rise project on the island.
Situated in a prime strategical location, the intention is to create a “City within a City”, with the integration of upgraded urban infrastructure and facilities, hence simultaneously upgrading all existing and surrounding functions.
The introduction of the aforementioned functions, services and facilities, conceptualized around a vast landscaped and themed extent of intertwining vegetation, in between pedestrian and cycling pathways, water ponds and wide perspectives, guarantee a total ‘facelift’ and upgraded aesthetics to a new concept of urban and architectural language that will most certainly bring new dynamics to the surroundings and the Larnaca district in general.
Themed gardens, cafeterias, restaurants, shops, art galleries, cultural workshops and showrooms, all accessible to the public between ground floor and the first 3 levels, guarantee an all day population transition within the project.
The landscaped park to the West acts as an extension or introduction of vegetation within artistic and cultural workshops, through continuous pedestrian and/or cycling paths, extending to the plot and climbing its way all the way up to the top level of both towers.
To the North, an office ‘Hub’ (open plan block type function space) to rent (per meter squared and/or per day) introduces a new trend to freelance workers in seek of a pleasant working environment within a mixuse, modular and multifunctional structure, with all services and facilities included.
This three level horizontal block concept, with intermediate garden terrace levels, embrace and surround the project itself with public retail functions (art galleries, cultural showrooms, restaurants, cafeterias, shops, etc), hence blocking out the existing surrounding infrastructure and built up network, while at the same time introducing a landscaped masterplan of various intertwined artistic and cultural elements.
The architectural block concept surrounding the two towers, based on a 5m x 10m structural grid, gives the opportunity to differentiate or combine open space modules ranging from 50m2 to 700m2 of office space upon request.
Until full exploitation, the unused modular spaces can be transformed into green areas by the introduction of vegetation, extending the green park area to the West side of the plot, into the plot itself, as vertical and/or hanging gardens at various levels throughout.
The cultural and art orientated workshops to the West of the project, that stretch out towards the South boundary of the plot, have been conceptualized in such a way so as to anticipate a future expansion of the project along the Southern vacant land, all the way Eastwards towards the Makenzy strip, in what could turn out to be an extension and intersection of landscaped pedestrian and bicycle pathways, linking the project and its new integrated functions to one of the most frequented seasonal coastal strips of Larnaca.
This new concept of modular environments necessitates architectural interventions with flexible structures in order to guarantee the unknown factors of time duration (as to rent) and function (type).
Artists, cultural spots, art galleries, workshops and elaborate culinary services, would all be intertwined within a vast landscaped area that stretches over thousands of square meters, offering visitors and locals the opportunity to combine work and pleasure in a modular and redefinable environment.
Another important feature of the project is the project identity itself, as when dealing with such vast area mix-use projects, it is of prime importance to be able to differentiate and visually recognize the various functions amongst themselves.
As a result of this, the visitor can immediately identify his ‘target’ location and direct to it through the shortest route without getting lost or having to slalom around the project.
Hence an architectural ‘language’ of materials has been attributed to specific functions in order to differentiate them visibly.
The workshops (acting as a link between the green park area and the rest of the landscaped masterplan) are wrapped in an envelope of wooden louvers with functional attributes, depending on the workshop orientation vertical and/or horizontal shades, are used accordingly to the sun’s cycle and the local climatic conditions.
The retail functions within the project (shops, restaurants and cafeterias) have been attributed an earthly concrete shell completion aspect as, due to their nature and projected use the main concern is to avoid the chaotic implementation of the materials and colors that such functions commonly use so as to differentiate themselves from each other and end up creating a visual pollution of aesthetics.
The identity of each retail and/or commerce will be delicately treated through the intermediate of their glass façade branding, internally orientated within the plot itself.
The ‘Hub’ office block functions (external to the identical and privatized function within the towers) will be treated with an HPL (high pressure laminate) cladding to resemble Corten metal and its oxidized earthly colors, in an effort to link the office ‘Hub’ spaces to the cultural aspect of the project (workshops, galleries, showrooms) as all these features are linked at ground and upper floor levels (0-1-2-3).
The two main mix-use tower functions (office and residential) are differentiated, not by the use of distinct materials (as that would visually distort the osmosis and fluidity of the vertical expansion but also the relation between the towers themselves), but by the introduction of a double height intermediate level, with common use functions to both towers, which is wrapped in a vegetal and perforated cladding envelope, fragmented and gradually dispersed to the higher levels of the towers, creating a differentiated unity between the tower functions.
This intermediate double height level with vegetal voids hosts functions common to the offices of the towers such as conference halls, seminar rooms, restaurant and bar, at the rooftop of which residents can enjoy the luxury of a private swimming pool.
The two towers rise up to 75m height, offering clear, uninterrupted and captivating perspectives of the city of Larnaca (North), the Mediterranean Sea (West), the Larnaca International Airport (South) and the Salt Lake (East).
Distinct double height entrance lobbies filter the access to and from the two main vertical rise functions, while also offering large areas of gallery and exhibition spaces.
terrelate and/or vary but simultaneously coexist between them.
Last but not least, two underground parking levels of approximately 385 spaces each, will serve the in-house residents and vast public as well, in an attempt to create new urban and social infrastructure services, derivative of the new themed functions introduced, the highlight of which will be the luxury Spa and Wellness center, below the landscaped water pond, hence creating natural light and water wells to filter through the basement itself.
The water features present at ground and basement levels, through the intermediate of shallow landscaped ponds and falling waters, act as a reminder of the nearby Mediterranean Sea (all year round) and flooded Salt Lake (in winter), through the reflective surfaces which filter and disperse natural light throughout the various areas and volumes.
Hence, the architectural layout and repartition of the proposed masterplan level functions has been conceptualized in such a way that their horizontal and/or vertical attributions can be modified to interrelate and/or vary but simultaneously coexist between them.
The horizontal Retail functions can easily be intercepted and mixed with the vertical Office functions as one could easily imagine a mixture of interrelated Retail and Office functions through levels 0 to 2 as would be the case for example, of a company selling electronic equipment at level 0 and having their offices either as a horizontal extension at the same level, or as a vertical extension above their commercial quarters at level 1 or 2.
A further advantage to this multifunctional and modular concept proposal is the vegetal interception throughout all levels, which not only acts as a visual and acoustic insulation to the three major functions (Retail + Offices + Residential) but also add to the environmental approach of the whole project.
These levels can be of modular use to all functions as they may offer roof terrace expansion to Retail (restaurants, cafeterias, etc) and private gardens to Office and Residential use, but they may also be used to ‘camouflage’ the vast electromechanical equipment that a project of such size will definitely need, amongst all the vegetation.
Hence, the general scope and concept of the whole project is none other than a horizontal expansion of public, commercial and retail services and functions, while at the same time reassuring a vertical segregation of office and residential development, separated by vegetal interception levels for all the reasons previously mentioned.
Due to the many functions and services to be introduced throughout the entire project, a specific engineering concept had to be elaborated so as to be able to guarantee a maximum of flexibility and modularity within the functions and services themselves.
When dealing with residential architecture, it is fairly easy, straight forward and permanent, to define the final layout of the various residential types, as these are generated mainly by the surface areas and number of bedrooms necessitated per apartment.
However, when dealing with office and/or retail spaces, one can never know what and/or how the demand and specifications will evolve, from the initial and preliminary architectural design to the final as built drawings, or even through the delivered version and/or that of the future to come.
Offices, conference rooms, seminar rooms, shops, restaurants, bars and various other functions, not only depend on market and economic influential factors, but even more so on ever changing architectural trends, necessities, technology
Hence the concept was to create large and open space areas to accommodate these functions and services, whatever they may turn out to be, offering ultimate and absolute liberty within the structure itself, as to the final layout and distribution of the areas themselves.
For the surrounding retail blocks, a specific 5m x 10m steel column grid structure concept was elaborated, to sustain and hold each independent concrete slab.
These 5m x 10m rectangular defined surface areas, could be treated as independent 50m² units, or as a sequence and/or multiples of the 50m² areas, adding up to large open space volumes within specific claddings and material envelopes.
The same concept was used to define the tower engineering concept, where the main vertical circulation core acts as the structural spine of each vertical entity, resting each level independent concrete slab on specific grid defined mixed columns of steel and concrete.
Hence, no intermediate supporting walls are necessary and the surface areas between each and every column with spans ranging from 4.5m to 6.5m, may be treated as uninterrupted surface areas and/or broken down into distinct separate areas, according to the functions and services of the specific architectural layout designed.
This is also what allows for maximum exterior garden areas, as the rotation of each separate level of pivoting slabs within rotations of 0˚ - 15˚ - 30˚ creating perspective views, whilst simultaneously allowing vacant exterior slab surface areas to be treated as private vegetal areas for various apartments, generating maximum privacy between each and every residential dwelling.
In relation to the statical engineering of the towers, the equipment and systems follow the main directions (vertically and horizontally) of these three fundamental structural elements.
The main vertical circulation core allows electromechanical and safety (fire fighting) risers to travel from the lowest underground slab (level -2) to the highest roof terrace slab (level +18).
Within these horizontal slabs, whether through raised floors or false ceilings, the electromechanical equipment is free to diverge and expand to any defined space.
The first intermediate bridge acts not only as an electromechanical service floor but also as a vegetal buffer zone between the office and residential levels, serving specific functions such as seminar and conference rooms, a sky bar and a restaurant (level 7) all topped by an open air swimming pool (level 8).
The overall electromechanical equipment and all relative systems to serve all functions will be defined at a further stage, once all the specifications and needs have been confirmed.
Depending on the orientation of the various functions, the exterior cladding of the façades may vary.
Perforated, mobile, sliding screens, inspired by the salt crystal evolution reference of the crystallization process, would be a functional but also aesthetical way to respond to a very important factor of nature that has to be considered, especially when considering the very high temperatures and sun radiation factors during the Cypriot summers.
Furthermore, the vegetation factor will also play a significant role in the environmental and ecological aspect of the project, as the vegetation will be present on all levels, whether on balconies or on covered and/or exposed terraces and gardens.
The materials to be selected for these perforated and sliding panels will be specified at a later stage, once the final architectural detailed design and electromechanical specifications are confirmed and locked.
Whether direct, indirect, natural or artificial, the lighting element and specifications of this project are expected to be extremely complex and of a very high standard, for more reasons than one.
Considering the multiple functions of the mix use project and how each and everyone is differentiated but also independent from one another, it is fundamental that a very precise and complete study be undertaken for all of the previously mentioned aspects of light, to be filtered in and out of the entire project.
The exterior and direct impact of the sun’s rays on the various façades of the multiple functions must be filtered and treated accordingly, just as the interior artificial lighting must be representative of the function it will be exposing.
The various functions, surfaces, building materials, colors, volumes, fabrics and orientations, must all be taken into consideration when specifying the correct characteristics and specifications of the items, that will be demanded to produce, reflect, filter and/or block out the element of light, throughout the whole project.
The columns are not just a statical element of the Salt Lake City project and they will definitely not be treated as just that, even though their statical role undoubtedly precedes any other.
Hence, their verticality and cylindrical characteristics will be taken advantage of by the intermediate of various cladding materials, which will be used to act as perforated light surfaces with vertically orientated climbing vegetation.
Due to the location and size of the plot, it is of primary importance to deal with the landscaping factor as a major element of the entire project.
The size of the project itself implies vast numbers in resident and/or transit population, hence the importance of making this prolonged or short stay, as agreeable as possible, through the intermediary of pleasant landscaped pathways, areas, zones, balconies, terraces and green areas.
With influences such as the Salt Lake, the Mediterranean sea, the city of Larnaca and the projected surrounding parks and green areas, various notions and materials could act as key factors to the aesthetic, architectural, materialistic and environmental palette of the project.
Vegetation, wood, water, salt, sand, wind, light, humidity, fog, clouds, are all elements that could have primary roles, not just as influences and/or inspiration, but as factors that could mould key aspects and/or the entity of the project.
Hence, themed moods could be the influence and inspiration to the various elements mentioned above in order to propose the materials to be used on floors, walls, ceilings and other interior and/or exterior surfaces.