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no.1 - Documenting the Cypriot Modernist Architecture

Updated: May 2, 2023

Cyprus is home to a rich and diverse collection of modernist architecture, which is considered an important part of the country's cultural heritage. Modernist architecture in Cyprus emerged in the mid-20th century, as the country underwent significant political and economic changes. Following independence from Britain in 1960, the nation experienced rapid modernization, which was reflected in the construction of new public buildings, housing projects, and infrastructure. Despite its significance, buildings of the Modern Movement in Cyprus are often neglected and threatened by demolition and lack of public awareness.

Through the documentation process, modernist buildings are brought to the attention of the wider public and their significance is communicated, helping to promote their preservation. Furthermore, documenting modernist buildings provides a valuable resource for scholars, architects, and historians, who can use the information to better understand the development and evolution of modernist architecture. In short, documenting modernist buildings is a crucial step in the preservation of this important cultural heritage, and it helps to ensure that these unique and innovative structures are not lost to future generations.

3D LiDAR scan documentation of Athienou's former municipal market. Animation courtesy of
Restoration proccess at Athienou's former municipal market construction site
Constuction process. Photo courtesy of Socrates Stratis

One important example of modernist architecture in Cyprus that is currently being documented for refurbishement process, is the former Athienou's Municipal Market. Originally designed by architect Neoptolemos Michaelides (1920-1993), the market was completed in 1965 and it is considered in the index of 100 most important buildings,sites and neighbourhoods in the island. The market building is known for its functional design, use of concrete and steel, and innovative roof structure, which creates a unique and memorable architectural experience.

You can check out the underoing restoration proccess and convertion of the building into a cultural and community centre:

Photo courtesy of

However, the future of modernist preservation in Cyprus is uncertain, and there is still much work to be done. The challenge of preserving modernist architecture in the country is complex and requires a long-term commitment from all sectors of society, including the government, private sector, and the general public. Given the increasing awareness and recognition of the importance of modernist architecture, it is likely that preservation efforts will continue to grow in the future. It remains to be seen what the future will bring and what kind of support and resources will be available for the preservation of modernist architecture in Cyprus.

3D LiDAR scanning as valuable tool for documenting modernist buildings as it provides high-resolution, three-dimensional data that can be used to accurately capture the geometry and details of structures. This information is important for:

  1. Conservation and preservation: 3D LiDAR scanning provides a record of the exact shape, size, and details of modernist buildings, which can be used to support conservation efforts.

  2. Design and construction analysis: The data produced by 3D LiDAR scanning can also provide insight into the design and construction techniques used in modernist buildings, which can be used to inform contemporary design and construction practices.

  3. Historic research: 3D LiDAR scanning can be used to study the evolution of modernist architecture over time and provide valuable information for researchers and historians.

  4. Education: The data produced by 3D LiDAR scanning can also be used for educational purposes, allowing students and other learners to understand the design, construction, and heritage of modernist buildings.

So the question remains: what will be the future of modernist preservation and restoration in Cyprus, and how can we ensure that this important cultural heritage is preserved for generations to come?

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