The thesis works across multiple spatial scale, site, program, time and scenario, deploys geopolitics between Europe, Mediterranean and Cyprus as drive, to facilitate the Cyprus Greenline UN Buffer Zone, a 180km long no man’s land separating the island into North Turk & South Greek for 40 years, back to a habitable condition.
Architect: LO Tong Kit
Country: Hong Kong
The research based strategy, neither generic nor touristic, takes the Greenline’s decay ecology, continuously anarchic condition and the mutual economic crisis of Turk & Greek Cypriot as a synergistic opportunity, to reintroduce bi-communal production & trade along the Greenline that utilize ‘voluntarily will peoples of both sides to work together free from military separation. Though it is disobedient to UN’s ban as well as embargo, the Greenline’s tax & regulation-free status at mid-Mediterranean would geographically attract the investment of UK & Russia enterprises, iconically exist as non-national sovereignty of third party, thus may be politically tolerated provided that it is self-sufficient without infrastructural supply from either side.
A combination of potential industrial, agricultural and commercial productive programs as well as autonomous energy, water and waste infrastructure for Cyprus context are developed as inter-configurable modular to present in three representative sites of various context and footprint along the Greenline as prototype. Each envisions a unique border strategy projected from one global precedent and adjusted to the local need. Firstly, Lympia wasteland becomes a side-by-side industrial zone like DMZ Korea starts a conditional co-operation; secondly Pyla border village becomes an enclave agricultural zone like Iraq-Kurdish becomes autonomous territory; thirdly the Nicosia divided city becomes a series of by-pass trading tunnels like Gaza, seamlessly stitches the divided city underground. It emerges one by one progressively from conservative to aggressive setting, to the projected trend of decreasing tension, can be proliferated to other similar terrains along the zone. It incubates architecture as seeds to subvert the frozen politic of Greenline and eventually remaps it into a Purple zone blending of Turk(Red) & Greek(Blue) together. It creates a win-win situation for both social and environmental sustainability amongst shareholders in complex political context from these series of in-between cities.